Thursday, March 27, 2014

Peregrine Falcon: King Henry and the Canvas

Peregrine Falcons are the fastest birds in the world, with diving speeds of 200 mph. There area an estimated 1,600 breeding pairs in the US and Canada and are the most widely dispersed bird, found on every continent save Antarctica.
Peregrine falcons mate for life, both male and female nest on the eggs and live up to 20 years. They are 15 - 21 inches long, with a wingspan of over 36 inches! They weigh a mere 2 pounds, with the female outweighing the male.
Babies age to over 40 days before they can fly and remain with the parents at this time. They also learn to hunt from the parents, after they learn to fly. Falcons capture their food out of the air, eating pigeons, songbirds and waterfowl. They even eat bats.
Falcons like to nest up high, in cliffs, skyscrapers, ledges, overpasses and tall bridges.
Peregrine falcons were once on the endangered list (in the 1970s) but since regulations banning DDT and DDE, the falcon population has surged.
Three year ago, a Peregrine adopted us and we've looked forward to seeing him fly past the windows. He likes to eat on our balcony and has become used to our voices, so he lets us stand on the balcony while he dines. Oh, and we named him Henry, as in King Henry, because he is clearly, king of all. How do you know if a falcon has adopted you? Well, do you have a balcony full of feathers from various birds?
You can see all these feathers. Notice the striped ones on the right? Those are from Henry, when he grooms himself. The others are from various dinner offerings - pigeons and starlings that he fancies. Sometimes, we find claws, wings and other bird parts on the balcony.
Here's Henry. His coloring is fascinating, with his yellow feet, beak and eyes. Speaking of eyes, he closes his eyelid from the bottom up!
 Because he's so striking and we love him, I took the photo (that Allie captured) and had it made into a 16x20 canvas for our wall. The process was quite simple. I uploaded the file to Walgreen's Photo under Canvas Prints, chose a size and placed my order.

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