Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Inspiration #7 - Peregrine Falcon

I can't remember when it started, but for a long time I have loved Peregrine Falcons, along with most other types of raptor (bird of prey). It might have derived from a book I read many years ago (A falcon for a queen, by Catherine Gaskin). Any chance I get, I drag friends and family to wildlife parks to see them. Healesville Sanctuary near Melbourne is particularly good at demonstrating birds of prey in flight.

Last week, as I sat atop Helens Head, I thought (hoped) I saw a pair of peregrines. My main reasoning was colouring along with a vague idea the habitat was right. However, they weren't behaving as I thought peregrines might behave -- the pair was flying in circles above the edge of the cliff, and making noises that I thought sounded a bit parrot-like. I think they might also have been a bit small.

I went to the Nobbies centre to inquire of an expert as to whether they thought they might have been peregrines. (Living in hope, as I said.) Unfortunately, there was no-one there who could answer my questions, but I do have the names of some people to e-mail, so stay tuned. According to Wikipedia, peregrines lay eggs during July-August in the Southern Hemisphere, so is it possible I witnessed some form of pre-laying ceremony? Another site I just checked, suggested that peregrines defend the skies above their nest . . . I would really like to find out!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I love birds of prey too. We have a couple wedge tailed eagles (I think) in the vicinity of the farm. They were circling above the farm house in the summer. Quite a sight.