Anna’s Favorite Raptor

Peregrine Falcon talk at CRC

Freya and her handler meet the first graders. (Photo: David Ozab)

The peregrine falcon. Here’s a description of this amazing bird from the Cascades Raptor Center.

A large, dark, powerful falcon with long, pointed wings and a long, narrow, tapered tail. Plumage is similar between the sexes, but females are larger.

The Peregrine Falcon has a black hood that extends down along the side of the head in a distinctive wide mustache mark. Upper parts of the bird are a dark slate-gray and lightly barred; underparts are a whitish color at the throat, shading to a buffy color with elongated spots on the chest, and more dark barring across the abdomen; legs and feet of the adult are bright yellow. Like all other members of the falcon family, the Peregrine has a distinct notch in the upper mandible for cervical dislocation of its prey.

This falcon flies with smooth, shallow, powerful wing beats, often soaring high with wings out flat and tail fanned when searching for prey, then diving and maneuvering at high speed to strike birds in midair. Peregrines are capable of gliding and flapping speeds up to 60 mph, and of reaching speeds up to 200 mph in spectacular dives called stoops.

We got to meet Freya, one of CRC’s resident falcons close up on Anna’s class field trip. We each took a photo.

Freya the peregrine falcon (taken with zoom lens)

Freya (Photo: David Ozab)

I was in the back and used the zoom lens on Julia’s camera. Anna didn’t need a zoom lens. She was in the front row and got to see Freya up close.

Closeup photo of Freya

“Peregrine falcon power!” (Photo: Anna Ozab)

When the keeper talked about the dark feathers under the falcon’s eyes and how they help her see—sort of like eye-black—Anna compared them to the dark stripes under the cheetahs eyes.

She learned that from her favorite TV show, Wild Kratts on PBS KIDS.

3 thoughts on “Anna’s Favorite Raptor

      • The PA Renn Faire has a falconer who used to come out (recently replaced by a different guy, no less cool).

        He had, one time, a gyrfalcon that he flew. He set that thing loose, no jesses, and had his lure out. The bird went clean up into the sun.. literally… you couldn’t look up to see it because it positioned itself right in the sun so you couldn’t look at it.

        Dude got out his lure… and BOOM! There was a bird. I mean, that thing was TRUCKING… From at least 1000 feet up, straight down and WHAM.

        I want one… daddy, buy me a falcon?


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