Peregrine Falcon, Proactive Hunter
Dr. James J. S. Johnson
If you want to eat, go eat what is available!
The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul; but the belly of the wicked shall lack. (Proverbs 13:25)
And, if you want to eat well, go to work to get what you (and others who depend on you) need!
Yea, you yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and unto those who were with me. (Acts 20:34)
If you want to eat regularly, and to have resources to bless other with, work for it!
Neither did we eat any man’s bread for naught; but we worked with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we have not authority, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. (2nd Thessalonians 3:8-10)
The wandering Peregrine Falcon has been previously covered — see my “Northern Raven and Peregrine Falcon: Two Birds Supporting the Manx Coat of Arms” [ https://leesbird.com/2016/02/12/northern-raven-and-peregrine-falcon-two-birds-supporting-the-manx-coat-of-arms/ ] — so that descriptive information won’t be repeated here.
However, it is worth noting that Peregrine diets change according to the seasons, because the available prey changes seasonally. So Peregrine Falcons need to be proactive, hunting here and there for new opportunities. Then, as opportunities are found, they need to be grabbed, promptly! [For a short video of Peregrine hunting, see the BBC video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=legzXQlFNjs .]
Diving at speeds of over 200 miles per hour, the Peregrine Falcon clenches its feet and then strikes its prey with a lethal blow that often sends both falcon and prey tumbling. Whereas migrating and wintering Peregrine Falcons commonly hunt waterfowl and shorebirds, summering Peregrines typically concentrate on birds of the forest canopy, capturing anything from woodpeckers to warblers. [Quoting Wayne R. Petersen & Roger Burrows, BIRDS OF NEW ENGLAND (Lone Pine Publishing, 2004), page 117.]
Thus, the Peregrine Falcon is willing to exert some effort – in fact, remarkable effort! — to acquire its daily diet. (Maybe this falcon should be exhibited as demonstrating what economist Max Weber called the Protestant work ethic!) In any case, this bird is neither slothful nor sluggish. Even this falcon’s name “Peregrine”, meaning “wanderer” or “traveler”, indicates that it is constantly on the move! Whoosh!
Thanks James for the interesting information on this bird, and great photos. It ‘wanders’ into our local parks occasionally and is quite beautiful, and from a distance looks very similar to our Australian Hobby which is a smaller raptor.
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Thanks, Ashley. Where I live, in the Cross Timbers region of northern Texas, we occasionally see a Peregrine Falcon on the move. But you must look quickly — they don’t stay still for very long (if at all).
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