The peregrine falcon has our deepest respect as it’s long been known as the fastest bird in the world. Weighing anywhere between one and three pounds and not even nearing two feet in height, the birds are capable, in a dive, of reaching unimaginable speeds of 240 miles per hour. Fortunately, they don’t tend to dive at those speeds toward humans. But a live stream from Wakefield Cathedral captured the moment one falcon, feeling threatened by a pigeon, divebombed the nuisance bird. The terrifying attack then sent the pigeon careening away from the falcon’s territory and nest. Check it out.
Wakefield Express reports the live stream is just one of multiple maintained by The Wakefield Peregrine Project. The project set up nests around the cathedral in 2015, with cameras all around. It gives interested bird enthusiasts the opportunity to observe the peregrine falcons in their everyday rituals.
Truthfully, the peregrines’ location at the top of the cathedral is unusual. However, it’s actually logical when you recall that this species of bird resides on cliff faces and by the sea. The cathedral, then, lends the birds’ the height of the cliffs while simultaneously offering humans a unique perspective of their everyday lives.
The video really begins as it takes in a female peregrine falcon overseeing her four brand-new eggs. However, things get dicey when a pigeon suddenly becomes too close. The female is immediately aware of the potential threat but refuses to leave her eggs.
As the caption of the video indicates, the male peregrine falcon becomes aware of the pigeon’s presence not long after. In an effort to drive the threat away, the falcon swoops down on the pigeon. The pigeon is then sent flying in a spiral away from the nest.
Arctic Camera Captures Footage of the Largest Falcon in the World
The peregrine might be the fastest falcon on the planet, however, we also have footage of the world’s largest falcon. And he’s truly a beauty.
Known as the gyrfalcon, the species thrives in the extreme cold of the Arctic. Its white and black feathers easily help it camouflage with its icy environment. This trait is especially useful in taking down prey which, on occasion, can be twice its size.
The gyrfalcon’s size, though, is what really makes it stands out against some of its cousins, including the peregrine falcon. These bright white predatory birds can reach two feet in height and can weigh upwards of three pounds. Given that falcons, like most birds, boast hollow bones, three pounds is pretty weighty, especially if you consider the doomed pigeon in the video above probably weighs less than a pound.
However, while the gyrfalcon boasts a number of remarkable traits, it’s, unfortunately, one of many animals unable to escape the effects of intensifying climate change. With global warming having a severer effect on the Artic caps than anywhere else in the world, scientists are worried the cold-weather falcons will soon struggle as their bodies just aren’t adapted to warmer climates.