Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Powerful and fast-flying, the peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus, hunts medium-sized birds, dropping down on them from high above in a spectacular stoop. Virtually exterminated from eastern North America by pesticide poisoning in the middle 20th century, restoration efforts have made this species a regular, if still uncommon sight in many large cities.

Thanks to Charlie from KQED Public Broadcasting in San Francisco, I have embedded a wonderful video about the resident SF peregrine falcons (below the fold). These amazing predators have been increasingly found nesting in large cities along the west coast, from LA to Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. This streaming report includes some spectacular footage and images that will leave you wanting more. [3:54]

You can click here to see the same story in a larger, nearly full-frame, format. Additionally, if you have questions, feel free to post them here in comments and the people involved with the story will answer them.

Incidentally, the producer for the story, Lauren, emailed me the answers to a few of my questions so I will post that here so you can also read about them;

This is their first year on the San Jose City Hall building, and their chicks are doing fine. All 3 (2 girls and a boy) have fledged, and they’re all banded for future identification. The parents, Jose and Clara, are not banded, so their origin is unknown. There are also other famous pairs with webcams in the Bay Area, especially a pair in San Francisco, George and Gracie.

If you are interested, you can read more about the pair and watch highlights from their nesting season.

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  1. #1 Angela
    July 28, 2007

    Nice post, and I like the fact that the adults have no bands. Even though I’m a biologist, I wish we could stop banding every peregrine from every nest we find.

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