Peregrine FalconAug. 2, 2009

My first encounter with a peregrine falcon was in fall 2007 on Jo Hayes Vista (a viewpoint on top of Tussey Mountain) when a hawk whizzed by. I only managed to get it in the viewfinder for a pair of fast photos as it was disappearing into the distance. Focusing was a challenge (as one can guess from the photo below).
Peregrine falcon from the rear
  Afterward, with confirmation from the State College Birders List, I identified the hawk as a peregrine falcon. And let me tell you: Peregrines are fast. Their reported diving speeds are well in excess of 200 mph, but peregrines don't slouch when it come to straight and level flying either.

My second photographic encounter with a peregrine came earlier this spring when Robyn Graboski obtained one her rehabilitation organization Centre Wildlife Care. She named her peregrine Isis, who has an injured wing but is otherwise quite magnificent. (Isis can't be released because of her wing injury but is to be shown for educational purposes.)

Isis the peregrine falcon
  From my being accustomed to trying to photograph birds on the move, it was almost too easy to photograph Isis when she was on Robin's wrist, but how could I resist? Isn't Isis beautiful?
Isis the peregrine falcon
  You can discover more about Robin's rehabiliation work at her site Centre Wildlife Care. I also have a series of pages (with photos and video) from Robin's 2009 annual Wild About Animals exhibit.

Photo note: I used a Pentax *ist D, with the SMC 1000mm reflex lens for the first photo (in fall 2007), and a Pentax K200D, with the SMC 105mm lens, for the second two (spring 2009).

New peregrine falcon flight photos   |   My Pennsylvania bird list

Look Out!   |   Contact