Written by: Karlee May, Digital Media Coordinator
Slate, a captive bred Peregrine Falcon, came to the Mountsberg Raptor Centre in 2012. She was kept illegally for falconry purposes before the Ministry of Natural Resources confiscated her. Conservation Halton cares for Slate on behalf of the Ministry. She is an education bird at Mountsberg Raptor Centre. Like Octavius, Slate is a human imprint, and therefore cannot feed or protect herself in the wild.
The Peregrine Falcon:
Peregrines hunt from above and, after sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive that can top 200 miles an hour (320 kilometers an hour). Peregrine Falcons have an incredible homing instinct. Even though their name means “wanderer”, some nesting sites have been in continuous use for hundreds of years, occupied by successive generations of falcons. Peregrine Falcons are a widespread species: they are found all over the world, except for Antarctica.
Peregrines are specialist hunters, and aerial predators. They only catch their prey while flying, so they exclusively hunt birds like songbirds, pigeons, ducks, and even bats!
Peregrine falcons are very territorial during breeding season and will vigorously defend their nests, nests at elevations up to twelve thousand feet. Baby Falcons are called eyasses. Eyasses double their weight in only six days and at three weeks will be ten times their birth size.
The Peregrine Falcon is listed under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act, 2007, which protects the species from being killed, harmed, harassed, possessed, collected or sold. Please help Conservation Halton care for her and the other raptors at Mountsberg Raptor Centre by contributing to the Raptor of the Month program.
Disclaimer: You can meet Slate for a Raptor Encounter, and the staff will do their best for you to meet our lovely Raptor of the Month, but sometimes mitigating circumstances arise. Our staff will do their best for you to meet your choice of bird, but please mind the fact that our beloved raptors have needs of their own.