A Peregrine Falcon family has been identified on the territory of the UNESCO Global Geopark in Percé. This species is designated " vulnerable Under the Government of Quebec's Act respecting threatened and vulnerable species. It has been designated " concern In April 2007 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Finally, according to the Government of Canada's Species at Risk Act, this species is designated " threatened ". At the Geopark, it was possible to identify two adult specimens and three small ones.
The Peregrine Falcon is a medium to large hawk that breeds in Greenland and throughout continental North America to northern Mexico. In Canada, it breeds in all territories and provinces except Prince Edward Island. The Peregrine Falcon winters from southern Canada and the United States to South America.
The peregrine falcon is a bird of prey that inhabits large open spaces such as streams, shores, marshes, beaches, mudflats, fields, coasts characterized by the presence of cliffs. It is also found in urban environments. In Perce, it has been seen regularly on the trails of the Geopark and at the Pic de l'Aurore geosite.
The Peregrine Falcon has a large nesting area and vigorously defends a minimum distance of 100 m around its nest. It can sometimes attack an intruder up to a mile away. The distance between the nests of different pairs is variable and can range from 1,6 to 5 km. Which leads us to believe that there is only one well-established family in the village of Percé and its surroundings.
The peregrine falcon is an essentially carnivorous bird. Its diet consists mainly of medium-sized birds such as blue jays, red-winged blackbirds, rock pigeons, and shorebirds that it captures in flight. More rarely, it can catch small mammals and insects.
He is the fastest bird in the world. It reaches speeds of more than 300 km / h in flight.
Photos: Courtesy Jean-François Gagné, taken at Pic de l'Aurore
Few birds deserve the term "master of the air" as much as the peregrine falcon. Whether it is performance in the field of speed or in that of acrobatics, it fears no one, and the title of the fastest bird in the world cannot be disputed.
The peregrine falcon adapts its flights to its needs. The dive flight technique is only used when hunting. In other circumstances, the peregrine falcon resorts to flapping flight, interspersed with gliding slides. The wings are then closed a little, the tip facing backwards, and their beats are fast and of low amplitude. Finally, when it rises above its territory, it practices gliding. It then extends the wings and tail (kept tight in other types of flight) to improve lift, and glides effortlessly up to several hundred meters in altitude.
However, evaluations of its speed vary: impressive figures have been put forward: 252 km / h in moderate descent, 324 km / h in almost vertical dive, according to the German H. Brüll. The estimated figure of 410 km / h (not scientifically controlled) in dive has even been put forward by LH Brown, a leading English raptor specialist. However, some ornithologists estimate that this top speed does not exceed 180 km / h, or 50 meters per second, which is still an impressive performance for a bird weighing on average only a kilo!