【Series】 Spirits of the Kamuy landscape
In this series, the transformation of four seasons will be introduced through articles on wild animals that are active in the deep forests, marshes, and ocean as if they were being cradled by “Kamui,” which means deity in the Ainu language. The first installment in the series is the Yezo sika deer of Notsuke Peninsula. (Text and photographs by Tadanobu Shigeru from the Kushiro Branch News Secti
【Series】Spirits of the Kamuy landscape (41) Peregrine falcon, a clifftop speedster
The place, a cliff in the Eastern Hokkaido Tokachi region facing the Pacific Ocean. A peregrine falcon spies a bird flying atop the waves and takes off.
The main feature of the peregrine falcon is its flying capability. Flying at a horizontal flight speed of 100 km/h, it can climb high into the sky and dive suddenly at high speeds exceeding 300 km/h. In fact, it is the fastest flier among all birds. It knocks into its prey, throwing it off balance and forcing it into a fall, and then catches the prey right in that moment. However, sometimes this method does fail. Because the peregrine falcon relies mainly on speed, it is not proficient in quickly changing course vertically or horizontally, and sometimes its prey will escape using nimble maneuvering.
Spring to summer is the offspring rearing season. Growing falcon chicks are ravenously hungry. Receiving food from their parents, they grow to match their parents in size in as quickly as about two months. They cannot hunt at first right after they leave the nest, so they practice getting better at flying while being fed by their parents until autumn.
The offspring will become independent around the time when winter birds start flying in from the north. At that time, they will mature into speedsters quite capable of hunting on their own.
(Words and photo: Shigeru Tadanobu)