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Peregrine Prey Transfer

A fundamental aspect of a young peregrine falcon surviving to adulthood is learning to capture prey on its own. Part of this process is the transferring of prey, caught by a parent, to a fledgling in mid-air. It not only sharpens the young bird's flying skills, but teaches it that food must be obtained on the wing.

These four photographs (courtesy of WCC Volunteer Mike Girone) taken July 10, 2011, illustrate the maneuvering required for a succesful prey transfer. Clicking on each photo will open a new tab or window with a larger image.
Peregrines approach to transfer prey
Fledgling flies up to waiting parent (with prey in its beak)
Peregrines approach to transfer prey
Fledgling flips onto its back, taking prey with its talons
Peregrines approach to transfer prey
Transfer complete, the fledgling drops away
Peregrines approach to transfer prey
Parent remains overhead, making sure fledgling doesn’t drop prey

For more on the 2011 Jersey City fledglings visit the Fledge-Watch page.

Peregrine Webcam Homepage

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2011
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 27, 2011