Saturday, May 07, 2005

Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

While not house related, this is something worth sharing I think. Who knows what the fastest animal on the planet is? If you said the cheetah you would be wrong. There is an animal that weighs less than 3 pounds and has been clocked at over 200 MPH! I guess it is kind of a trick question because the animal is a bird and so those are flying speeds. The bird in question is the Peregrine Falcon.

The reason I’m writing about this is because of an article in the paper today about a peregrine nest on the 33 floor on the PG&E building in San Francisco's financial district. The peregrine falcon almost became extinct in the 70s because of the pesticide DDT. It caused the egg shells to become thin and break before the chick could mature. There are 3 chicks and the image is updated every few seconds. The web cam has been active for about 2 months now.


* The peregrine is the fastest animal on the planet. Scientists estimate the speed of a diving peregrine to be more than 200 mph.
* Peregrines eat birds that they catch in the air.
* Peregrines nest on tall city structures that are similar to the sheer cliffs they prefer in nature.
* The peregrine is one of only a handful of birds that nest on every continent and major land mass except Antarctica.
* The peregrine population declined to zero known nesting pairs east of the Mississippi, and just two known nesting pairs in California by 1970.
* Today, there are an estimated 235 peregrine falcon nesting pairs in California.

I guess in a way this is house related. I mean, a nest is a house of sorts, and besides, I have nothing else to write about today.


Jocelyn said...

I love Peregrine falcons. They nest on the Evanston library in my area. I don't think I knew they were the fastest on the planet. One day last summer a baby flew the nest too soon and was stranded in the middle of Davis Street. I happened to be riding my bike home and saw all these women who turend out to be librarians in the street in front of the library blocking traffic protecting the baby. Then the police came and blocked the street off. People (myself included) are very moved by birds.

derek said...

I was standing less than 10 feet from one once, while trekking in Chile. I just stood there and stared at him/her. I took a picture, it wasn't too impressive with a wide angle lens though.