For about ten years now, a family of peregrine falcons have made their home under the Interstate 5 Ship Canal Bridge. I think I want to go visit them, sometime soon.
The Peregrine is renowned for its speed, reaching over 200 mph (322Â km/h) during its characteristic hunting stoop (high speed dive), making it the fastest member of the animal kingdom. It is also the world’s most widespread bird of prey being found far and wide throughout the world.Â Both the English and scientific names of this species mean “wandering falcon”. Before the 1970′s DDT, the terrible pesticide, killed off many of the peregrine falcons—leaving it endangered. However, we finally wised up and banned DDT and since, with the help of a large-scale protection of nesting places, the population of Peregrine Falcons have recovered.1
Peregrine Falcons are adaptable and apparently like to live under bridges, at least this family of peregrine does. I imagine the small rodents are easy to find, under the bridge, so close to the water—wharf rats? Perhaps. This family of Peregrines have successfully lived under the I-5 Ship Canal Bridge for ten years, so there must not be any lack of food in the area. The Washington State Department of Transportation went under there and put bands on the chicks so they could help keep track of them. The mother peregrine looked on with increasing agitation. You can see from the pictures below (all the pictures are from the Washington State Department of Transportation)
You can read the story here.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peregrine_Falcon [↩]