Falco peregrinus anatum

Peregrine falcons are predatory birds renowned for their grace and speed in the air. They dive at their bird prey from great heights, attacking at speeds that can exceed 300 km/hr. There are three subspecies of peregrines – anatum, Peale’s, and tundra. The anatum subspecies is widely distributed throughout North America, and has experienced the greatest population decline. Widespread use of DDT in the 1950’s and 1960’s affected the birds’ reproduction by interfering with breeding behavior and causing a thinning of the eggshells. Peregrine falcons (anatum subspecies) were classified as endangered in 1978 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). While the peregrines are doing much better now, they continue to be vulnerable to environmental toxins which accumulate in their food chain.

Peregrine Falcon standing on a rock in Wood Buffalo National Park Canada.
Peregrine Falcon anatum subspecies in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada.
© Parks Canada / WBNPC Photo Gallery


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