The Peregrine Falcons of North Wales

19th September 2011
This latest post focuses on the Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) which I have come across along the rocky North Wales coast. Peregrine falcons suffered serious population declines in the UK in the last century, particularly in the 1960's, with egg collectors, persecution and pesticides such as DDT all having an affect. Thankfully, the species is now recovering due to better legal and environmental protection. As a result of this Peregrines are now relatively common in North Wales, and I encountered them on a regular basis in the area. Below are some photographs of those encounters. Enjoy, and as always let me know what you think! Cheers,

A juvenile Peregrine calling overhead

An adult Peregrine circling around the sea cliffs.

A parent bird with a freshly killed pigeon, preparing to feed one of the juvenile falcons

The adult parent Peregrine (top) passes the remains of the pigeon to the juvenile bird (bottom).

Adult birds regularly hunt the feral pigeons in the nearby town.

Juvenile birds have less bold markings than the adult birds, lacking the strong stripes across the breast and a more brown colouration overall.

An adult and juvenile bird practice stooping, where the birds dive down the cliffs at speeds of up to 200km/h. This technique is used to kill the peregrines prey, where the birds dive from above, often killing their target with the force of the impact.

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