Peregrine Falcon

Can anyone out there in internet land guess what the fastest living thing on the planet is?  I’ll give you 2 hints:

1) It’s not a cheetah or a sailfish.

2) It’s the subject of this post.

Since you’ve given up by now I’ll just tell you.  The all around coolest bird in school, the Peregrine Falcon.  They have been clocked at over 200 mph with some people suggesting they could even get up to 240 mph.  They reach these speeds while hunting.  They circle high until they find potential prey.  Peregrines prefer smaller birds in flight.  Once they’ve locked on they begin their attack.  They position themselves between their prey and the sun to remain invisible and then dive.  They go into a free fall and begin gaining speed.  Everything about them is perfectly aerodynamic.  Their nostrils have a cone in the center which allows them to breath at the height of their speed.  When they get close to striking they flatten out pulling upwards of 6 Gs!  Most fighter pilots can’t even handle that.  At this point their prey had no idea what hit them.  Their is a small explosion of songbird feathers and it’s over.  Awesome animals.

Luckily for me there is a Peregrine Falcon nest right next to our research camp.  I would like nothing more than to just sit under the nest and watch it develop all summer but the adults hate intruders in their territory and get very agitated.  I’ve tried to give them enough space but occasionally they freak out no matter how much room you give them.  Luckily I had my camera with me a few times…

Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/800 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, tripod

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Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/800 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, tripod.

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Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/800 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, tripod.

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Canon 60D, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3

1/800 sec @ f/8.0, ISO 200, tripod.

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