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Our retired dive bomber

~Update on our resident Peregrine falcon~

Patrick, our resident Peregrine falcon, was brought into NIWRA by a falconer because the bird experienced seizures when working, so he had to retire. Since he was born in captivity, he cannot be released.

Patrick is a shy but handsome fellow.

Peregrine falcons were very close to extinction at one time because of the contamination of their prey animals by DDT, a pesticide that was sprayed on crops. The DDT entered the falcon through their food chain and resulted in infertile eggs or thin-shelled eggs that were easily crushed. After DDT was banned in Canada, falcon populations started to increase.

Peregrine falcons capture their prey by “dive-bombing” from great heights, often at speeds over 300 km per hour! They are the fastest of all birds and animals (yes, even faster than a cheetah). This diving is called “stooping”.

Their eyes are protected by a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane and their lungs are protected from the air pressure by structures in their nostrils called tubercles which act as a baffle for air entering their lungs at high speeds.

Come and visit Patrick the next time you are at NIWRA, but know he is a bit shy.

You can help the wildlife in care at NIWRA by making a financial contribution on our secure website. Thank you so much for caring about wildlife!




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