Where Does the American Peregrine Falcon Live?

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The American peregrine falcon is considered one of the most widespread birds of prey and can be found throughout the world. Look for peregrine falcons in tall trees or mountain tops with help from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

It's small, but mighty. One of the fiercest hunters in the animal kingdom. And it's a bird. It's the American Peregrine falcon. Hi, I'm Janice Creneti. I've been teaching environmental science for twenty years, and I'm here to answer the question "Where do Peregrine falcons live?" Well they live almost everywhere in the world. In fact, they're considered the most wide spread bird of prey that exists. How do you know a Peregrine falcon is a bird of prey? Well, there's a couple of easy ways that you can tell. First of all, birds of prey are renowned for their big, hooked beaks, which they actually don't use to catch their prey. They actually use it to rip it up in to shreds so that they can swallow the chunks. They don't have teeth to chew like you and I do, and they certainly don't have hands to tear things apart, so they rely on their beak to do that. Another way you can spot a bird of prey is by it's talons. Those are the claws on its feet, and that's what the bird actually uses to catch its prey. The Peregrine falcons are known for an amazing way of hunting. They actually dive straight down, coming close to an estimated 200 miles an hour, and they actually knock the wing of the birds that they're hunting. Peregrine falcons are also knowns as chicken hawks because they go after other birds. Well by knocking the wing of the animal it lessens the impact on the Peregrine falcon. If the Peregrine falcon was to hit the bird head on it would actually kill it. Peregrine falcons are most often found in areas where there's a high place to perch. Now this could be in areas where there's trees, it could be in an area where it's more mountainous, but it's somewhere where the bird can sit and overlook an area, preferably an area that's kind of open where it can hunt for its prey. They're beautiful birds, but they were almost wiped out by a pesticide called DDT. You see DDT would get into their systems and soften the eggshells so that when the birds would sit on their nests the eggs would actually break open, and never hatch into a falcon chick. Falcons have been banded as scientific research projects in an effort to try and bring their populations back, and it's working. American Peregrine falcons are now more wide spread than ever, and it's very exciting to see. I'm Janice Creneti, and this is "Where do Peregrine falcons live?"


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