Walking back from the grocery store a few minutes ago a Peregrine zipped past me not more that 20 feet off the ground, close enough for me to see its black sideburns. That was a treat.
The Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) is one of the fastest birds in the world, capable of reaching speeds of more than 200 miles per hour in a dive or stoop. You’ll find it in your recommended River Houses bird guide on pages 324–325. Peregrines became quite rare during the late 20th century because of the widespread use of DDT as a pesticide, but since DDT was eliminated they have rebounded, even in cities (where they nest on skyscrapers and feed on pigeons).
Peregrines have a rich cultural history since they are one of the few birds that occur in nearly every part of the world. They have been prized by falconers for centuries. And in your dictionary, look up the beautiful word peregrination for an impromptu vocabulary lesson.
Do you keep a homeschool bird list? The first of January is the day to start!
What ornithological discoveries have you made in your homeschool this week? 😊