Every month, the visitors of our Museum choose the exhibit that they liked the most. For the month of August, it seems that... it is the PEREGRINE FALCON (FALCO PEREGRINUS) that drew their attention!

The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), which is found also in Greece, is the fastest known animal on the planet, as in its vertical dive (hunting stoop), its speed reaches over 320 km/h.

His body looks like it has the shape of a teardrop. It has a short tail and narrow, pointed wings. Lives in a variety of outdoor environments. It is a capable hunter that feeds on small birds, which it catches with a deadly blow of its claws, even when it flies and then ends up on the ground with its strong beak.

Peregrine is adequately protected at the national and especially at community and international level. The species came close to extinction in the 1950s. The reason was the extensive and reckless use of dangerous pesticides in crops, with the result that through the insects and birds they ate, the harmful substances passed to the peregrine falcons. This caused them to make eggs which broke easily, dramatically reducing their population. The ban on these chemicals has helped the population recover to this day.

Photo credits: Carlos Delgado, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons