Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus
Peregrine falcons use sharp talons and beak to hunt and kill their prey/Photo Courtesy of Rollin Bannow

The Peregrine falcon is an uncommon spring and winter visitor to the Refuge. It is, however, common in the Refuge and area during fall migration.  It can be seen on the ocean beach, Willapa Bay or the mouth of the Columbia River feeding or perched on a log or other higher vantage point when looking for a meal or just resting. It often takes its prey in mid-air by diving steeply and swiftly at it from above to snatch it with its talons. Historically the Peregrine was called the “Duck Hawk” in North America. Its major predators are eagles and large owls.  The Peregrine Falcon was once an endangered species due to exposure to DDT.

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Facts About Peregrine Falcon

Lives up to 15 ½ years in the wild

Fastest bird on record when diving

Diving posture is called a “stoop”