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Take Falcons Under Your Wing

The dramatic comeback of the peregrine falcon is a story of triumph against great odds. This noble predator vanished from most of North America in the 1950s. The species fell victim to pesticides (DDT in particular) absorbed from its prey, causing females to lay eggs with shells so fragile they rarely hatched.

The turnaround came in the 1970s, when conservationists mobilized worldwide to prevent the peregrine’s extinction. They succeeded in getting DDT removed from the North American market. Programs to raise falcons in captivity began to rebuild the population. Thousands have since been released across Canada and now breed successfully in the wild. Today, one of the world’s fastest birds can be seen again, streaking high over river gorges and in the skies of metropolises like Montreal, Winnipeg, and Edmonton.

No longer listed as “endangered,” the peregrine remains a “threatened” species. Its full restoration is still years away due to habitat loss on its breeding grounds and the ongoing use of DDT on its Latin American wintering grounds. Why not help this swift raptor in its race for survival?

Falcon nesting structure schematics