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A Few More Shots from Peregrine Banding on Monday

by Bob Sallinger


Posted on May 20, 2009 at 6:58 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:39 PM

We banded peregrine falcon nestlings at several bridges on Monday including Fremont and Saint Johns. The falcons use the bridges as substitutes for the cliff on which they typically nest. One of the sites that we visited had five nestlings, an all-time record for Oregon! Peregrines are the fastest animals on earth diving at speeds of over 200 miles per hour. The eat primarily birds and will take anything from the size of a hummingbird to an Aleutian Canada goose. In answer to Allison's question, they will typically his their prey in a dive (called a "stoop"). Oftentimes they will kill their prey on contact (imagine a bird being hit at 200 mph by another bird weighing somewhere between 550 grams and 1100 grams.) If the prey is not killed on contact, the falcons will often grab it in air and use their beaks to finish the job . They will also follow their prey to the ground. When we band them we also take blood samples, collect prey remains from the nest and collect egg shell fragments from the nest. We also collect any unhatched eggs (it is safe to do so because at all of the nests we enter the young are at least 14 days old meaning that there is no chance that the unhatched eggs are still viable). The unhatched eggs can be analyzed to determine what sort of toxins the birds are still carrying in their systems. The following are shots from Monday's banding efforts:

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Female Adult Peregrine on Saint John's Bridge

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Nestlings on Saint Johns Bridge

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Nestling on Saint Johns Bridge

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Five fledglings at unnamed site--an all-time peregrine record for a peregrine nest in Oregon

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Banded 40-day old peregrine ready for first flight!