Peregrine falcons catch other birds mid-flight by diving at more than 200 mph. To do it, they need some high-precision gear: special eyesight, talons and aerodynamics that can't be beat.
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While known for being the worlds fastest birdperegrines have been clocked at diving more than 200 miles per hourthese majestic birds were at risk for going extinct 50 years ago. Widespread use of pesticides such as DDT decimated native populations of peregrine falcons.
By 1970, Californias peregrine population had dwindled to only two known nesting pairs statewide. The federal government banned DDT in 1972. And successful restoration efforts spearheaded by organizations like The Peregrine Fund helped revive their numbers. By 1999, they were removed from the federal Endangered Species List. Recent surveys estimate that there are now 300 to 350 nesting pairs in California and more than 2400 pairs nationwide.
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--- Whats the origin of the Peregrine Falcon's name?
Peregrineis Latin for "Peregrinus," which means traveler or pilgrim.
--- How many eyelids do raptors, or birds or prey, like peregrine falcons have?
They have three! Two eyelids are used for closing their eyes, while the third is used for blinking. Its also called the nictitating membrane and helps to protect their eyes and keep them moist and clean. Its semi-transparent, so they can actually still see through it when its closed.
--- Did you know they have a special bone to protect their eyes?
Its called a sclerotic ring and helps support and secure their eyeballs within their skulls.
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