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About Peregrine Falcon peregrinus in the Kiev region. Text of a scientific article in the specialty - Biological Sciences

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Latin name:Falco peregrinus
English name:Peregrine
Squad:Birds of Prey (Falconiformes)
Family:Falcon (Falconidae)
Body length, cm:36–48
Wingspan, cm:95–110
Body weight, g:380–890
Features:silhouette in flight, coloring of the head, hunting technique
Number, thousand pairs:5,5–6
Guard Status:SPEC 3, CEE 1, BERNA 2, BONN 2, CITES 1
Habitats:A species living along sea and ocean coasts
Additionally:Russian description of the species

A typical representative of the family of falcons, densely built, with a short tail, large head and pointed ends of the wings. The upper part of the body is slate-black, the lower one is light, with dark longitudinal streaks and transverse stripes; there are long dark "whiskers". The plumage of young from above has a brown hue, sides and abdomen with longitudinal marks. The middle finger is the longest. The populations of the Mediterranean islands are smaller, with a rust-colored spot on the back of the head and a slight reddish bloom on the ventral side. Sexual dimorphism in color is not observed, however, the female is noticeably larger than the male.

Spread. Migratory, sedentary and nomadic species having about 15 subspecies. Worldwide distribution, although very uneven in America and Africa. The highest abundance reaches in the tundra. Northern populations winter in the south of the range. More than 500 pairs nest in Italy.

Habitat. Nests in coastal and inland rocky areas located near open areas used for hunting. Sometimes it can be seen in cities, on ruins, old buildings and skyscrapers.

Biology. Peregrine Falcon is a monogamous bird; in March-June it usually lays 3-4 eggs. Chicks appear after 29–32 days of incubation, in which both parents participate. Young become flying at the age of 35–42 days. One clutch per year. The peregrine Falcon has incredible flying abilities, which allows it to easily catch birds of many species - from feathers to ducks.

Interesting fact. When the peregrine falcon goes “at its peak”, it develops a tremendous speed - up to 300 kilometers per hour! Such incredible abilities make him a subject of keen interest for falconry enthusiasts, who often pick up chicks from their nests. This is one of the reasons for the decline in numbers.

Related species. Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) exceeds peregrine falcon in size. The color of its plumage varies greatly: Greenland birds can be completely white. Breeds in the tundra, winters a little to the south.

The text of the scientific work on the topic "On Falco peregrinus Peregrine Falcon in the Kiev region"

For the last two decades we have not seen water voles (the western part of the Volga delta), nor have they been found in the plots of owls.

Russian Bird Watch 2016, Volume 25, Express Edition 1386: 5111-5113

About Peregrine Falcon peregrinus in the Kiev region

Second edition. First publication in 2007 *

Due to increased protection, recently in many European countries there has been an increase in the number of Falcon peregrinus peregrine falcon. An important role in this was also played by the artificial resettlement of the falcon in cities. To preserve the tundra, or white-faced peregrine falcon F. r. calidus Latham 1790, a partial ban on the use of FGD in its wintering areas became important, which reduced embryonic mortality and increased the success of breeding birds.

In recent decades, the frequency of occurrence of peregrine falcons has also increased significantly in Kiev and the Kiev region, which can be seen in the analysis of earlier data (Domashevsky 2002a, b). The increase in the number of falcons is apparently the result of the influence of the factors noted above. Birds began to be constantly observed in Kiev in the winter, in the Kiev region - on migrations, and, most importantly, more frequent meetings with birds in the nesting season and even peregrine falcon nesting was recorded.

Recently, we reviewed literature data and our own observations on peregrine falcon in the Kiev region (Domashevsky 2004). To date, new material has been collected about the meetings and the nature of the peregrine falcon's stay in the Kiev region. As during previous observations, the most common peregrine falcon was recorded in the winter. Most of the meetings were noted within the city of Kiev. So, a young female was observed on January 26 and February 3, 2005 near the Darnitsky railway station. The young male was met on December 14, 2005 at the Kharkovskaya metro station. Hunting of a young female on pigeons was observed on January 23, 2006 at the Darnitsa metro station. The adult female circling over the houses was registered on February 21, 2007 in the area of ​​Shevchenko Square in the Minsk region. In the winter of 2006/07, about 10 meetings with a peregrine falcon were recorded at Rusanovka and in the Kharkov district of Kiev.

* Domashevsky C.B. 2007. About peregrine falcon in the Kiev region // Strepet b, 1/2: 109-111. Rus ornithol. journal 2016. Volume 25. Express issue No. 1386

Outside the city of Kiev, winter peregrine falcons were observed on February 25, 2005 in the floodplain of the Irpen River near the village of Motyzhin, Makarovsky District (a young male was resting on a tree), on January 11 and 12, 2006 near the village of Koshchivka, Fastovsky District (an old female in flight, and then resting on a tree). The falcons were probably attracted by mallards Anas platyrhynchos, wintering in the small wormwoods of the Unava River. Perhaps the same female was observed on January 27, 2006, resting on a tree in the floodplain of the Irpen River near the village of Yablonovka, Makarovsky District, 10 km from Koshchievka. It was a very bright individual of large sizes, belonging, possibly, to the tundra subspecies.

On flights, a peregrine falcon (female) was registered on March 29, 2005 near the village of Negrashi of the Makarovsky district, a large falcon, not identified to species, flew north on March 12, 2006 at the village of Motyzhin of the Makarovsky district, on the same March 30, 2006 the peregrine falcon hunted teals, March 19, 2007 over the floodplain of the Desna River near the village of Suvid, Vyshgorodsky District, a flying adult peregrine falcon was observed.

A peregrine falcon brood, consisting of 2 males and 1 female, was observed on August 10, 2006 in Kiev in the Borshchagovka housing estate. Falcons stayed here for about 10 days. Adult birds at this time could not be found. In the spring, an adult male peregrine falcon was repeatedly noted here. Young birds often hunted pigeons in the yards, both in pairs and alone, and sat on buildings to rest. Then the birds disappeared, apparently, were taken by their parents to the nearest agricultural land. But in 2007, adult birds were not observed here during the reproductive period.

Thus, over the past 20 years, three successful cases of peregrine falcon breeding have been registered in Kiev. As we previously suggested, one, and in some years, possibly two pairs of peregrine falcons nest in the city (Domashevsky 2004). How high is the success of nesting falcons is unknown. Nests have not yet been examined, so the number of eggs in clutches, their quality and the survival of the chicks remain unknown.

The question of the relationship of falcons with humans during nesting has not been clarified. The puffing of peregrine falcons during the nesting period is a well-known fact. Peregrine falcons are especially noisy when the chicks grow up and leave the nest. Therefore, it is important to find out how, for example, the residents of the upper floors of a high-rise building are on which the brood of falcons settled, when in the quiet morning hours the chicks begin to scream loudly, asking for food from their parents.

For the kindly provided information on the registration of the peregrine falcon in the Kiev region, we thank the Kiev falconers and amateur ornithologists V.A. Boyarsky, A. BDashenko, A. I. Shtepa, K. A. Pismenny and A. Tereshchuk. We want to note that we relate to the information provided by these observers with great confidence, because we know the field skills of these people well.

Rus ornithol. journal 2016. Volume 25. Express issue No. 1386

Domashevsky S.V. 2002a. The number and nature of the stay of common kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) and peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in the city of Kiev // Vestn. zoo. 36, 1: 60.

Domashevsky S.V. 20026. Findings of birds of prey in nesting periods 1992-1995 on the

northern Ukraine // Avifauna Ukrati 2: 9-23. Domashevsky S.V. 2004. New data on rare species of birds of prey in the Kiev region (Ukraine) // Strepet 2, 2: 5-27.

Russian Bird Watch 2016, Volume 25, Express Edition 1386: 5113-5114

Unusual nest of Haematopus ostralegus magpie

Second edition. First publication in 2015 *

During a trip to the Tver region on May 13, 2015 in the village of Farafonovka, Kashinsky district, I stopped to photograph a nest of a white stork Ciconia ciconia. It was already getting dark. I parked the car on the side of the road going through the village and went behind the houses to get closer to the nest. Suddenly, a magpie Haematopus ostralegus flew from somewhere and began to fly around screaming. This was strange, as the behavior of the bird was like disturbance at the nest. But the magpie magpie nests on the rocky or sandy banks of the rivers. There were only concrete slabs of the walkway and tall grass. In addition, the case took place in the middle of the village, not far from a rather busy road. However, the sandpiper for some reason did not fly away. When I returned to the car, the sandpiper sat on one of the wooden poles that had remained from the power line that was passing here, and then flew to the next pole.

The next day I again drove through Farafonovka. The wader of Magpie was sitting on the pillar again. I took some photos, the bird did not fly away. Only when I came closer did the sandpiper get worried and stood up, but did not fly away. I did not get too close.

Returning in the evening through Farafonovka, stopped to look at the sandpiper. He continued to sit on the same pillar.

Already at home, looking at the photographs, I found that in the picture you can see an egg lying on the top of the pillar where there was a magpie. So it really was a nest!

* Shamina K.Yu. 2015. An unusual nest of sandpiper-magpie // Moskovka 22: 58-59. Rus ornithol. journal 2016. Volume 25. Express issue No. 1386

Peregrine Falcon hunting. Video (00:02:03)

In the first part of the breeding flight, the peregrine falcon transfers the prey to the female. The female at this time flies down the ridge and receives prey from the claws of the male.

- Where the peregrine falcon lives constantly
- Wintering places
- Nesting places

The area of ​​distribution is significant: from the Arctic to South Asia and Australia, from the western part of Greenland almost throughout North America.

PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION

Pairs nesting in hazardous areas are protected. In Europe today there are about 5,000 bred pairs.

Peregrine Falcon. Video (00:02:23)

A peregrine falcon hunts with the speed of lightning: after looking at prey during a leisurely soaring, it builds up directly above it and swiftly, almost vertically angle falls on it from above. From a strong blow, the unfortunate victim often loses his head. If she managed to stay on her shoulders, a bird of prey breaks the poor fellow's neck with a beak or uses its sharp claws.

Peregrine Falcon. The fastest bird in the world. Video (00:03:53)

The fastest animal on Earth is the Peregrine Falcon. In diving it reaches an incredible speed of 90 m / s (over 320 km / h). In 2005, a record was recorded - peregrine falcon diving at a speed of 389 km / h. He falls on the victim from the sky and knocks her down with a blow of clawed paws. The blow is so strong that the victim often comes off his head.

Appearance

Peregrine Falcon is a large falcon: its length is 34-50 cm, wingspan 80-120 cm. Like most other birds of prey, female peregrine falcons are noticeably larger than males: they weigh between 910-1500 g, while males are about a third less and their weight is 440–750 g. Sexual dimorphism is not expressed in color (the exception is a rare subspecies F. p. madens) —males and females look the same.

The overall physique is strong, characteristic of active birds of prey - a broad chest with hard and convex muscles, strong fingers with sharp and steeply bent claws, and a short, sickle-shaped beak. In adult birds, the upper part of the body, including narrow pointed wings and nadhvost, slate-gray, often with fuzzy dark transverse stripes (see

section "Subspecies"). The tips of the wings are black. The abdominal part is usually light, depending on the area of ​​residence, it can be grayish-white, pinkish, reddish or buffy, with thin brown or black transverse streaks on the belly, sides and underpart. On the chest, the streaks are drop-shaped. The tail is relatively long, narrow, rounded at the end.

The lower part of the tail is black with a small white stripe at the end. The upper part of the head and the "mustache" (the feathers from the beak to the throat) are black, the lower part and the throat are contrast-light - white or reddish. The eyes are large, bulging, dark brown, surrounded by a yellowish ring of bare skin. Wax yellow, beak and legs black.

Peregrine Falcon silhouette in hover and before diving

The plumage of young birds is noticeably less contrasting - the upper part of the body is brown with an ocher color by the edges of the coverts, the lower is lighter and has more longitudinal streaks rather than transverse stripes in adult birds. Wax is bluish-gray, legs are yellow.

Outside of the breeding season, it is usually silent. Vocalization is a loud, sharp and jerky cry of “kyak-kyak-kyak” or “keeek-keeek-keeek” used to communicate and attract attention. In case of anxiety, he emits a coarse, quick “edge-to-edge". During courtship, the male and female can make loud two-syllable sounds “AI-chip”.

Taxonomy

Peregrine Falcon belongs to the family of falcons of the falcon family, its closest relatives are the gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus), saker (Falco cherrug), laggar (Falco jugger), Mediterranean (Falco biarmicus) and Mexican (Falco mexicanus) falcons, which are often combined in one group . It is believed that the evolutionary divergence of all these birds from other representatives of the genus began in the Late Miocene or in the Early Pliocene, about 5-8 million years ago.

Since the group includes views of both the Old and the New Worlds, it is believed that most likely the center of the divergence was Western Eurasia or Africa. The relation of this group to other falcons is still not fully understood, one of the factors that impede scientific research is the widespread hybridization between different species.

Title

Sound File - Peregrine Falcon Scream

The scientific name Falco peregrinus was given to the bird by the English ornithologist Marmaduke Tunstall - he was the first scientist to systematically describe the peregrine falcon in his work Ornithologia Britannica in 1771. The Latin word falco, which gave the bird its generic name, is derived from the word falx ( ”) And is translated as“ sickle-curved ”- thus the author emphasized the shape of the wings of a falcon during flight.

The species name peregrinus in Latin literally means “wandering” and refers to the prevalence and lifestyle of this bird. A similar meaning was preserved in the name of the peregrine falcon in most modern European languages: for example, “peregrine falcon” (English), “faucon pèlerin” (French), “wanderfalke” (German), “falco pellegrino” (it.), “Pilgrimsfalk” "(Swiss), etc.

In the Russian language, for a long time, the hunters of the peregrine falcon were called the falcon - in the future, this name gained a broader meaning and passed to the whole bird family. The word “peregrine falcon” itself in Russian literature appeared only in the second half of the 19th century and, according to some sources, was borrowed from the Kalmyk language.

Spread

Peregrine Falcon Distribution in the World: Nesting Places Wintering Places Year-round Migrations

Rocks - a favorite place for nesting peregrine falcon.

Peregrine Falcon is cosmopolitan - it is widespread on all continents (except Antarctica), as well as on many islands. Being unpretentious to the environment, it easily coexists as in the cold climate of the Arctic tundra, reaching 70 ° C. w. in Greenland and 78 ° c. w. on Novaya Zemlya and in the hot tropics of Africa and Southeast Asia.

In general, at different times of the year it can be seen almost everywhere, with the exception of the polar and alpine regions, deserts and most of the tropical rain forests. He also tries to avoid vast open spaces, such as the steppes of Eurasia or the pumps of South America. In the mountains it is found at an altitude of up to 4000 m above sea level.

Habitat

Peregrine Falcon usually chooses inaccessible places for humans with a wide horizon, the most preference is given to the rocky shores of various reservoirs - both internal and external. The highest density of bird populations reaches in the valleys of mountain rivers, where there are optimal conditions for nesting. In highlands, it usually nests on rocks,

in the forest zone often settles along river cliffs, in vast mossy swamps or high on trees, where it occupies the old nests of other birds. Regardless of the occupied territory, it always has a nearby wetland complex with an area of ​​at least 10 km². Avoid areas of continuous dark forest, as well as vast treeless spaces.

Sometimes (in recent years, rarely) peregrine falcons as a habitat choose settlements, including large ones. For example, it is known that in Losin Island in Moscow, birds settled annually in 1927-1941, and also in 1963. Birds arrange nests on the roofs of churches and other high-rise stone buildings in the city.

So, in the early 1950s there were reports of nesting birds at St. Isaac's Cathedral in Leningrad, and in 1958 and 1966. on a high-rise building on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment in Moscow. For 2008, according to A. Akhundov, head of the biodiversity and wildlife conservation and restoration sector at the Moscow Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection, the only pair of peregrine falcons in Moscow nests on the main building of Moscow State University.

With the exception of the extreme northern populations, peregrine falcons usually lead a sedentary lifestyle, or in the cold season move a short distance. At the same time, males who have reached puberty, as far as possible, stay near the breeding territory throughout the year. In the Arctic and subarctic climate, birds make long seasonal migrations, often flying further than their non-migratory neighbors.

Thus, according to the observations of ornithologists, peregrine falcons nesting in Greenland in winter can reach the southern tip of the South American continent. In the Russian Federation, peregrine falcons do not form nests only in the steppe zone of the Volga region and Western Siberia, however, they can be found there during the period of seasonal migration.

Reproduction and longevity of a falcon

All species of these birds breed almost equally. Monogamy flourishes in their relationship. Consistency is very important to them. The choice of a pair of birds is very serious.

And during the wedding ceremonies, you can see the demonstration performances of birds. Falcons that live in the northern parts begin the breeding season a month later than all the others, this is due to cold weather conditions.

For nesting falcons choose a variety of places, while taking into account their safety. The female lays from 2 to 4 eggs, of red color. The number of eggs laid depends on the availability of food.

Pictured are falcon chicks

The more food, the more eggs, respectively. The eggs are hatched by both the female and the male. It lasts about a month. Parents surround little chicks with complete care. The grown birds will have to leave the territory, because in them the parents begin to feel their competitors.

You can buy a falcon bird. There are people who are specially engaged in their breeding and training. They quickly become attached to the person and become not only a new member of the family, but also a true friend. The price of a falcon bird is low, about $ 20.

Sexual maturity in males and females begins the very next year after birth, although birds usually begin to breed only at the age of two or three years. Peregrine falcons are monogamous; pairs persist for many years. This species, regardless of its way of life, is also characterized by attachment to a certain breeding territory, which has been maintained for several generations of birds for a long time - for example, on a small island off the coast of Wales, researchers fixed a rocky ledge on which birds nest constantly, at least least since 1243.

The breeding season begins in April-June, northern populations, as a rule, begin breeding later. Usually, the male arrives first at the place of the future nest, calling the female, he performs various air pirouettes: spinning in a spiral, suddenly diving or somersaulting. A female crouching at a short distance indicates that the pair is finally formed,

Birds sitting next to each other can carefully examine each other, brush feathers on their partner or bite their nails. In addition, in the process of courtship, the male often feeds the female, on the fly passing her prey caught by him. Taking food from a male on top, the female in the air turns upside down.

In the nesting period, peregrine falcons are very territorial and aggressive towards aliens. The distance between neighboring nests, as a rule, exceeds 1 km, even in areas with a high population density and is usually 2-6 km. Such an area, including water spaces, is necessary for birds to ensure normal availability of feed during the breeding season.

Peregrine Falcons actively guard their territory and when an intruder invades it, they can attack even a larger feathered predator, such as an eagle or a raven. When a person approaches, the birds begin to show anxiety already at a distance of 200-300 m from the nest, giving alarming voice signals.

The location of the nest depends on the surrounding landscape, but in any case requires open space for approaching and the presence of a nearby reservoir. In rocky terrain, it usually settles in a rocky crevice or on a ledge in the upper part of the slope at an altitude of 20-80 m from the ground. In the tundra, preference is given to steep banks of reservoirs or near-water rocky outcrops.

Adult bird with a grown chick in a nest.

In rare cases, peregrine falcons occupy the old nests of other birds of prey in the trees - crow, buzzard, goshawk, kite, osprey, etc. Finally, occasionally, niches of stone buildings in the settlements serve as nests, reminding birds of rocky ledges - cornices of tall buildings, bridges, belfries, factory chimneys, etc.

If possible, a small hole is dug in the soil with a depth of 1-3 cm and a diameter of 20-30 cm, or a small area is cleared. The litter as such is absent, however, with repeated use, bones or feathers may remain in the nest. One of the distinctive features of the peregrine falcon is a large number of bone remains of victims around the nest, accumulating for many years, as well as abundant traces of litter of chicks.

Eggs are laid once a year, in the second half of April - early May. If the original clutch is lost for any reason, the female is able to lay eggs again. Typically, the female lays 3 eggs (less often from two to five), one every 48 hours. The eggs are brightly colored - brownish or reddish in color with darker reddish-brown spots and specks.

Egg size (51-52) x (41-42) mm. The incubation period is 33-35 days, both parents incubate, however, most of the time the female is in the nest. Hatched chicks are covered with dirty white fluff, have disproportionately large legs, and at first absolutely helpless. The female warms and feeds the chicks, while the male mainly forage.

Forage territory during the breeding season usually reaches 19-24 km in radius from the nest. The first flight of the chicks is performed at the age of 35-45 days, however, for several weeks they remain dependent on their parents before they independently learn how to get their own food. In central Russia, chicks fly out of the nest around the end of June.

Nutrition

Peregrine Falcon eating prey.

Peregrine Falcon eats almost exclusively medium and small-sized birds: sparrows, blackbirds, starlings, pigeons, ducks, etc. In general, there is no attachment to certain species - the diet varies depending on availability in the area. In addition to birds, it occasionally preys on some small mammals, such as bats, squirrels and hares, and also feeds on amphibians and insects.

The birds are most active in the morning and evening. With very few exceptions, prey is caught on the fly, on approach, and birds often hunt as a couple, diving for the prey in turn. A peregrine falcon is waiting in ambush, sitting on a high ledge, or flying low above the ground, scaring a potential victim.

Noticing the prey in the air, he quickly gains height and, having folded his wings, dives sharply down almost at right angles, trying to hurt her paws in passing. According to experts, during a dive, the speed of the bird can reach 322 km / h, or 90 m / s, which allows us to call Peregrine Falcon the fastest living organism in the world.

The blow can be so strong that the victim’s head can fly off or the body can be torn apart along its entire length. With the fodder obtained, the birds always rise to the elevation, where they arrange a meal for themselves. Unlike many other predators, peregrine falcons leave their head, wings and sometimes legs of their prey whole.

Everything that the falcon obtains during hunting makes its food. From small birds to insects and terrestrial mammals and rodents, this bird absorbs with pleasure.

It is interesting that a predator is capable of hunting not only for a flying prey, it is very good for it to render harmless an animal that is not suspecting anything sitting on the ground.

When growing a falcon in the nursery, it is necessary to constantly supply it with real game, from other food the bird can get sick. Therefore, before you get a falcon, you need to find out for yourself one question - whether the owner can provide him with such food, because for this you may have to hunt yourself.

A balanced diet should be introduced into the diet. The falcon will feel best if he receives either rodent meat or lean meat. If you adhere to such a diet, falcons will even retain in captivity the ability to reproduce.

Pictured falcon's nest

Ecology and conservation

Peregrine Falcon at all times remained a rare bird, despite its adaptability to various landscapes and climatic conditions. Currently, the bird population as a whole is recognized as stable, although in some regions there may be fluctuations in numbers or extinction from former habitats.

Serious threats to the conservation of this species arose in the second half of the 20th century, with the beginning of the massive use of organochlorine pesticides (in particular, DDT) in agriculture. Hazardous substances accumulated in the body of birds and prevented the embryonic development of offspring (hatching of chicks decreased sharply).

From the late 1940s to the mid-1960s, only in the USA peregrine falcons completely disappeared in the eastern part of the country, and in the west their number fell by 80-90%. A similar situation arose in Western Europe, where they ceased to meet in a large area. Only in the 1970s, after the legislative ban on the use of especially dangerous pesticides and the introduction of environmental programs, the population of peregrine falcons in the world began to slowly recover.

In addition to the use of pesticides, adverse factors affecting abundance are also increasing competition with the Saker Falcon, lack of suitable nesting sites, cultural changes in landscapes, and poaching. Natural predators destroying nests — eagle owls, foxes, martens, and others — can cause some concern. Peregrine Falcons coexist near a person’s dwelling, but are sensitive to excessive anxiety from people.

On the territory of the Russian Federation, the number of peregrine falcons remains unstable and, according to ornithologists, does not exceed 2-3 thousand pairs. Starting from the first half of the 20th century, the peregrine falcon disappeared from many familiar places of its former habitat or remained in very small numbers. Due to its small number, it is protected by the Red Book of Russia, where the peregrine falcon is assigned the second category.

In 1990, a nursery for breeding this bird was created in the reserve Galichya Gora. Internationally, the peregrine falcon is included in Appendix 1 of the CITES Convention (trade ban), Appendix 2 of the Bonn Convention, Appendix 2 of the Berne Convention, and is also protected by a number of bilateral agreements. In the United States, Canada, and Germany, programs have been developed for rearing young animals in enclosures with subsequent introduction into the wild.

Falcon hunting

A young man with a falcon. A fragment of the painting “Portrait of a Mongolian Merchant with a Family” (“Family Portrait”) by Daniel Schulz.

Hunting using falcons or other hunting birds was known in ancient times, the earliest documentary evidence of this was found during excavations of the Assyrian fortress Dur-Sharrukin, the estate of Tsar Sargon II (722-705 BC), where on a stone The bas-relief depicted two hunters, one of which launches a bird into the air, and the second catches it.

In Western Europe, hunting with hunting birds remained unknown or unpopular until the 3rd century, at least it is not mentioned in either Roman or ancient Greek sources, despite the fact that since the 1st century AD e. there was a massive migration of the peoples of Central Asia (in particular, as a result of the conquest of the leader of the Huns of Atilla), trade was booming in the Mediterranean, and Alexander the Great made campaigns in the Middle East, Persia and India.

It was not until 1274 that the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen wrote the treatise De Arte Venandi cum Avibus (The Art of Bird Hunting), which describes the rules of falconry. In the Middle Ages, despite its popularity in many European countries, falconry, due to legislative restrictions, remained the destiny of only the upper class: for example, in the English treatise “Boke of St. Albans ”(1486) states that only a prince or a duke could contain a peregrine falcon.

Hunting gained popularity among the Slavic peoples on the territory of modern Russia somewhere at the turn of the 8th-9th centuries, presumably due to the Khazar nomads who inhabited the territory of modern Dagestan and the Lower Volga region. In the XII century, Prince Oleg arranges a falconry yard in his yard, where he breeds birds for hunting.

During the reign of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich, Russian falconry flourished; more than 3,000 different hunting birds were kept in amusement yards in the villages of Kolomensky and Semenovsky near Moscow. All birds were distributed according to “articles”, the head of the “article” was the initial falconer, who was directly responsible for a certain number of ordinary falconers, roosters and hawks, the delivery of falconers to the initial ones was accompanied by a special ceremony established by the Sokolniki Route.

Culture

Due to their hunting skills and the possibility of their maintenance in captivity, falcons left a mark in the culture of many peoples of the world, however, it is often difficult to determine which bird the source indicates. So, in Western Europe, the first mention of peregrine falcon as a separate species refers only to the 15th century, when the English manuscript “Boke of St.

  • In Egyptian mythology, the god of heaven and the sun. The choir was depicted as a man with the head of a falcon or as a solar disk with the wings of a falcon.
  • The image of the falcon, symbolizing the warrior-hero, hero, prince standing at the head of his warrior squad, is repeatedly mentioned in the monument of the Old Russian alphabet “The Word about Igor's Regiment”. As a patrimonial sign of many princes, the falcon has been preserved on the flags and emblems of several Russian cities, such as Suzdal, Sokol, Kumertau, etc.
  • In 1530, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, when transferring the island of Malta to the Knightly Order of the Hospitallers (Order of Malta), obliged the latter to send him one Peregrine Falcon each year as a feudal duty. This story is reflected in the novel by the English writer Dashil Hammett “The Maltese Falcon” (1930). In 1941, in the United States, a film of the same name was shot using this book.
  • Peregrine Falcon is depicted on the left side of the national coat of arms of the Isle of Man. This image recalls the story when, in 1405, the King of England, Henry IV, transferred the island into a lifetime possession to Sir John Stanley in exchange for an obligation to give two peregrine falcons during the coronation to him and all subsequent English monarchs. This tradition was preserved until 1821, when King George IV was crowned.
  • The Japanese name for the hayabuz peregrine falcon is reflected in the Suzuki brand of high-speed motorcycles, Suzuki Hayabusa.
  • Hayabusa (Ki-43) - Japanese fighter from the Second World War.
  • Hayabusa is a Japanese spacecraft that made the first landing in an asteroid in the world. The return of the device to Earth is expected in 2010.
  • The Peregrine Falcon is depicted on a 25-cent commemorative Idaho coin issued by the US Mint in 2007 in a series dedicated to each state in that country. The bird is considered one of the symbols of this American state.

Egyptian god Horus with the head of a falcon.

Peregrine Falcon on a postage stamp of the USSR, 1965.

Peregrine Falcon on a 50-ruble coin of the Bank of Russia, 1992.

Peregrine Falcon on a 25 cent US coin, 2007.

Subspecies

Nesting range of peregrine falcon subspecies.

During the observation period, various authors described a large number of peregrine falcon subspecies depending on the size and color characteristics, however, to date, only some of them are recognized by most experts. One of the most complete modern ornithological catalogs - “Handbook of Birds of the World” (English Handbook of Birds of the World) - describes 19 subspecies of this bird.

  • The subspecies Falco peregrinus calidus Latham 1790 is a tundra or white-winged falcon (previously described as Falco peregrinus leucogenys) nests in Eurasia in the tundra strip, including the Arctic coast, on the islands of the Arctic Ocean and the northern part of the forest zone along river valleys. The western boundary of the range is limited to the Kola Peninsula, the eastern approximately by the basins of the Yana and Indigirka rivers in Eastern Siberia. Migratory bird, migrates in winter to areas south of the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, the Black and Caspian Seas, Central Asia and reaching areas south of the Sahara. Compared with the nominative subspecies, it has a lighter and paler color, especially in the head area, and the absence of red tones. The weight of males is 588–740 g, of females 925–1333, includes the subspecies caeruleiceps. The Nenets and the peoples of Western Siberia call this bird "khanavey", the Yakuts - "mok-falcon", the peoples of Central Asia - "Bahryn" or "Baharin".

Current status

The number of peregrine falcons remains unstable and, according to ornithologists, does not exceed 2-3 thousand pairs. Starting from the first half of the 20th century, the peregrine falcon disappeared from many familiar places of its former habitat or remained in very small numbers. Due to its small number, it is protected by the Red Book of Russia, where the peregrine falcon is assigned the second category.

Reproduction and Peregrine Falcon Life Span

In normal times, accustomed to living alone, in mating and nesting periods, peregrine falcons form pairs. These are monogamous birds that retain their affection until death. And the peregrine falcons marry, literally, in heaven, that is, in flight. Performing acrobatic figures in the air, the male passes on to his beloved prey on the fly, this is the essence of the ritual.

Married pairs of peregrine falcons occupy certain areas and guard them vigilantly, driving away both their relatives and other birds from there, sometimes fighting for their rights even with large birds: crows and eagles. The territories occupied by peregrine falcons for building nests and raising offspring are very extensive and comprise an area, in some cases, up to 10 square meters. km

But on the other hand, it is curious that those of the birds that under normal conditions are a desirable prey for peregrine falcons: geese, swans and geese, near their nests feel protected and safe, because, like all birds from falcons, peregrine falcons hunting habits on their territory. And other feathered predators also do not pose a threat to their potential victims, as vigilant guards drive their competitors away.

Female peregrine falcon with chicks

Great masters in flight, peregrine falcons are by no means talented nest builders. They trim their buildings, using a few twigs, covering them with feathers. Therefore, peregrine falcons often love the nests of more skilled birds, for example, a raven, unceremoniously expelling troublesome hosts from their homes.

Peregrine falcons are preferred for elevation ground, for which not only rocks are used, but also high-rise buildings built by people. And if once you have chosen a place, then you can stay there not only for many years and all your life, but also pass them on to your descendants.

These prudent birds also have spare nesting sites, which are often found in lowland territories. And they can even be simple shelters. For example, small indentations in the ground.

Pictured are chicks and peregrine falcon eggs in the nest

At the end of spring, peregrines-mothers usually lay in their nests, and then hatch over the next five weeks, about three pieces of eggs that have a bright chestnut color.

The fluffy chicks that hatched soon, freeze and cling to their mother. And father gets food for the whole family. He protects against enemies, which pose a great danger to the chicks.

They can turn out to be both large birds and land predators. For young cubs, parents tear food into tiny pieces, which are meat fibers, accustoming the chicks to catch birds of prey.

In the photo a peregrine fowl

A month later, newly-made peregrine falcons are covered with feathers and try to fly, and soon they begin to learn hunting wisdom. Further, as usual, they enter an independent life. And by two or three years old they are already creating their own pairs. Peregrine falcons live about a quarter century.

Sexual maturity in males and females occurs the very next year after birth, although birds usually begin to breed only at the age of two or three years. Peregrine falcons are monogamous; pairs persist for many years. This species, regardless of its way of life, is also characterized by attachment to a certain breeding territory, which has been maintained for several generations of birds for a long time - for example, on a small island off the coast of Wales, researchers fixed a rocky ledge on which birds nest constantly, at least least since 1243.

The breeding season begins in April-June, northern populations, as a rule, begin breeding later. Usually, the male arrives first at the place of the future nest, calling the female, he performs various air pirouettes: spinning in a spiral, suddenly diving or somersaulting. A female crouching at a short distance indicates that the pair is finally formed,

birds sitting next to each other can carefully examine each other, brush their feathers to their partner, or bite their nails. In addition, in the process of courtship, the male often feeds the female, passing her caught prey on the fly. Taking food from a male on top, the female in the air turns upside down.

In the nesting period, peregrine falcons are very territorial and aggressive towards aliens. The distance between neighboring nests, as a rule, exceeds 1 km, even in areas with a high population density and is usually 2-6 km. Such an area, including water spaces, is necessary for birds to ensure normal availability of feed during the breeding season.

Peregrine Falcons actively guard their territory and when an intruder invades it, they can attack even a larger feathered predator, such as an eagle or a raven. When a person approaches, the birds begin to show anxiety already at a distance of 200-300 m from the nest, giving alarming voice signals.

The location of the nest depends on the surrounding landscape, but in any case requires open space for approaching and the presence of a nearby reservoir. In rocky terrain, it usually settles in a rocky crevice or on a ledge in the upper part of the slope at an altitude of 20-80 m from the ground. In the tundra, preference is given to steep banks of reservoirs or near-water rocky outcrops.

Adult bird with a nestling in the nest

In rare cases, peregrine falcons occupy the old nests of other birds of prey in the trees - crow, buzzard, goshawk, kite, osprey, etc. Finally, occasionally, niches of stone buildings in the settlements serve as nests, reminding birds of rocky ledges - cornices of tall buildings, bridges, belfries, factory chimneys, etc.

If possible, a small hole is dug in the soil with a depth of 1-3 cm and a diameter of 20-30 cm, or a small area is cleared. The litter as such is absent, however, with repeated use, bones or feathers may remain in the nest. One of the distinctive features of the peregrine falcon is a large number of bone remains of victims around the nest, accumulating for many years, as well as abundant traces of litter of chicks.

Eggs are laid once a year, in the second half of April - early May. If the original clutch is lost for any reason, the female is able to lay eggs again. Typically, the female lays 3 eggs (less often from two to five), one every 48 hours. The eggs are brightly colored - brownish or reddish in color with darker reddish-brown spots and specks.

Egg size (51-52) x (41-42) mm. The incubation period is 33-35 days, both parents incubate, however, most of the time the female is in the nest. Hatched chicks are covered with dirty white fluff, have disproportionately large legs, and at first absolutely helpless. The female warms and feeds the chicks, while the male mainly forage.

Forage territory during the breeding season usually reaches 19-24 km in radius from the nest. The first flight of the chicks is performed at the age of 35-45 days, however, for several weeks they remain dependent on their parents before they independently learn how to get their own food. In central Russia, chicks fly out of the nest around the end of June.

Habitat

Peregrine Falcon usually chooses inaccessible places for humans with a wide horizon, the most preference is given to the rocky shores of various reservoirs - both internal and external. The highest population density of birds reaches in the valleys of mountain rivers, where there are optimal conditions for nesting.

In mountainous areas, as a rule, nests on rocks, in the forest zone often settles along river cliffs, in vast mossy swamps or high on trees, where it occupies old nests of other birds. Regardless of the occupied territory, it always has a nearby wetland complex with an area of ​​at least 10 km². Avoids areas of continuous dark forest, as well as vast treeless spaces.

Sometimes (in recent years, rarely) peregrine falcons as a habitat choose settlements, including large ones. For example, it is known that birds settled in Losiny Island in Moscow annually in 1927-1941, and also in 1963. Birds make nests on the roofs of churches and other high-rise stone buildings.

So, in the early 1950s there were reports of nesting birds at St. Isaac's Cathedral in Leningrad, and in 1958 and 1966. on a high-rise building on Kotelnicheskaya Embankment in Moscow. For 2008, according to A. Akhundov, head of the biodiversity and wildlife conservation and restoration sector at the Moscow Department of Nature Management and Environmental Protection, the only pair of peregrine falcons in Moscow nests on the main building of Moscow State University.

Since 1997, peregrine falcons have been living on the balcony of the SunTrust Plaza skyscraper (Atlanta, USA) above the 50th floor, whose life can be watched in real time using a specially installed webcam.

With the exception of the extreme northern populations, peregrine falcons usually lead a sedentary lifestyle, or in the cold season move a short distance. At the same time, males who have reached puberty, as far as possible, stay near the breeding territory throughout the year. In the Arctic and subarctic climate, birds make long seasonal migrations, often flying further than their non-migratory neighbors.

Thus, according to the observations of ornithologists, peregrine falcons nesting in Greenland in winter can reach the southern tip of the South American continent. In the Russian Federation, peregrine falcons do not form nests only in the steppe zone of the Volga region and Western Siberia, however, they can be found there during the period of seasonal migration.

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