How To: Peregrine Falcon vs Northern Pintail

By | November 1, 2015
From Xplor: November/December 2015

Peregrine Falcon

Sky Diver

Peregrine falcons are the world’s fastest birds. Rocketing down like a comet, their dives can start a half-mile above their prey and reach 260 miles per hour.

Dive Bomber

Bull’s-eye! With talons outstretched, a peregrine can strike a duck with enough force to stun or kill it.

Eyes on the Prize

An extra pair of see-through eyelids act like built-in goggles to help the peregrine maintain razor-sharp focus during its dives.

Northern Pintail

Wide Eyes

A pintail has a super-wide view thanks to eyes on the sides of its head. Ducks see three times farther than humans, making a duck’s vision its most powerful sense. 

Fast Fliers

Pintails are strong, fast fliers. Their wings are sweptback, rather than straight out like other ducks. Pintails can take flight easily by leaping right up from the water’s surface. 

Feathered Friends

Pintails join large flocks with all sorts of other ducks. Flying in flocks gives them a thousand eyes in the sky to watch out for falcons.

And the winner is…

The pintail’s sharp eyesight saw the peregrine fixing for a dive from half a mile away. It quickly headed toward safety, but was unable to escape the falcon, nature’s feathered speeding bullet.

And More...

This Issue's Staff

Brett Dufur
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Regina Knauer
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White