February 2024 Photo-observation of the Month

A Peregrine Falcon, with its narrow, pointed wings and torpedo-shaped body, is built for speed. © iNat user @winterglow

Congratulations to @winterglow for winning the February 2024 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! Their mid-flight photograph of the fastest bird on earth, the Peregrine Falcon, received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month.

A peregrination is a long, often arduous journey or pilgrimage, a word well-suited for a long-distance migrant such as the Peregrine Falcon. This falcon, found across the globe on all continents but Antarctica, might be better known for a much shorter journey that begins high in the sky and ends with a duck, shorebird, or pigeon far below gripped in its talons. During these high-speed flights known as ‘stoops’, Peregrine Falcons can reach speeds in excess of 200mph, faster than any bird on earth. Just as comfortable on the rocky cliffs of Vermont as they are on the skyscrapers of New York City, the Peregrine Falcon is one of the greatest conservation success stories on the continent, having recovered from the disastrous effects of DDT with the help of captive rearing and release programs. Some may know the Peregrine Falcon as a vital character in My Side of the Mountain, a book that sparked a love of nature in myself and many other budding naturalists. In Vermont, Peregrine Falcons have recovered in recent decades to the point where most suitable cliff faces in the state now have a nesting pair in residence. This success is thanks in part to efforts to reduce disturbance of nesting falcons by closing off breeding sites to climbers and hikers. You can learn more about the status of Peregrine Falcons in Vermont here and view a map of nearby sightings of this iconic species on Vermont eBird.

With 2,844 observations submitted by 524 observers in February, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Posted on Μάρτιος 11, 2024 0148 ΜΜ by nsharp nsharp


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