Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What Is It? The Weekly Challenge #3 Answer

Today's animal was easier for many of you, and we had a number of good guesses!  We had a few close guesses (like the American Kestrel, another North American bird of prey, but we had one totally right answer.  This weeks winner is Julie N., who guessed the Peregrine Falcon!
Peregrine Falcon
 The Peregrine Falcon is one of my favorite birds, mainly because of how it hunts.  It dives at medium-sized birds from up to 3,000 feet in the air, and often dives towards the birds with the sun at its back; that way, its prey has a difficult time of seeing them through the sun's glare.  In its dive, speeds of 175 - 200 mph have been recorded, placing it at the terminal velocity able to be achieved by the bird.  Some people have reported that the peregrine can exceed terminal velocity but, despite being taken in by this theory for a time, I believe that this not, in fact, true.  (I am not that into the math or physics, but I believe it might even be impossible, but I'm sure some of you know that better than me!)  Click on the link below to learn a little more, and to see the bird in action!!

Although their population numbers suffered tremendous, pesticide-induced blows during the 20th century, they have made quite a comeback throughout the United States.  However, it was a close call.  Use of pesticides like DDT (commonly known as DEET, used to be common in mosquito repellent before its negative impacts on the environment became fully known) caused the Peregrine Falcon's eggshells to become weak, and they were easily broken.  The result of this was very few baby falcons surviving to breed themselves.  In fact, at one point it got so bad that the Peregrine Falcon was listed as "Endangered" by the IUCN in the 1950's through the 1970's.  It became extirpated, or locally extinct, in both Belgium and the eastern United States.  However, now it is labeled as "Least Concern;" an amazing comeback, for an amazing bird.

This picture of the Peregrine Falcon was taken by me, last week at the Reptile Day at Dinosaur Ridge, near Golden.  My friend Masaki Kleinkopf and I went and were able to see a few pretty cool things, the Peregrine Falcon being just one of them.  I highly recommend going to check out the Ridge, as well as the museum they have there, it is really quire interesting!

Don't forget to check in later in the day for this week's challenge!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...