Thursday, January 22, 2015

the wanderers

Photos by Jason Dykes.

peregrine [per-i-grin] adj. wandering, traveling, or migrating.

And at speeds of well over 200 MPH, they are the fastest animal on Earth. 

Peregrine falcons are wanderers. Ode to be so. As the map shows, they can be found virtually all over the globe except the polar regions, yet the map is somewhat dated. The dark blue indicates winter resident, the dark green means breeding resident and that range is expanding as the species slowly recovers from the affects of DDT. Historically, peregrines were once in the Great Smokies, then they were all gone. In the late 1980s, the fierce falcons were reintroduced into the national park, and they're back. The most reliable place I know to find them is Alum Cave Bluff on the trail to Mt. LeConte, April into June where they nest once again. 

Or, if you cannot wait, go to downtown Maryville now. One has been hanging out in the foothills city the past several days where it's probably eating pigeons, its plat préféré. Jason Dykes found it and sent me these photos.

Magnificent creature. Such a gift to see.

Thanks, Jason.


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