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Peregrine Falcon

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1min 00sec
Mike DelliVeneri/CPW
A peregrine falcon.
Colorado Postcard peregrine falcon

The peregrine falcon is the fastest creature in Colorado and the planet. Clocked at 240 mph as it comes tearing out of the sky – more than twice as fast as a bald eagle. 

A peregrine hunts smaller birds from a higher altitude. Sighting one, it folds its wings back to reduce drag and nosedives, to wallop its target with incredible force, up to 25G’s. As the stunned prey goes tumbling toward the ground, the falcon swoops it up mid-air with its strong, sharp talons. Diving at such extreme speeds, a falcon’s lungs should burst, but a structure in its nose slows down the airflow – a feature that inspired the design of jet engines. 

Peregrines typically nest in high cliffs or bluffs, but they're equally comfortable setting up on Denver skyscrapers. You can hunt with one if you become a licensed falconer; in Colorado the process takes at least two years.

About Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado.