Blogs & Videos: Peregrine Falcons

Sex Lives of Peregrine Falcons & Time Travel Discoveries | Ep. 2

In this week’s episode of Natural News from The Field Museum, we’ve got updates about the sex lives of peregrine falcons, mouse lemurs as time machines, and new research on the formation of our solar system!  Papers/Articles: 1. Peregrine Promiscuity. 

“Sex in the City: Breeding behavior of urban peregrine falcons in the Midwestern US,“ Caballero et al. PLOS One (2016)

Side by side illustrations of an antelope-like animal and a falcon

Extreme Animals Competition: Pronghorn v. Peregrine Falcon

In our Extreme Animals Competition, we’re looking at some of the fastest, fiercest, and strongest members of the animal kingdom. Representing the Speedy Sprinters category, the pronghorn and the peregrine falcon are two of the quickest animals on land and in the sky. Pronghorn: Outrunning the competition Vital stats: 

Peregrine Falcons Removed from IL Endangered List

Peregrine Falcons have their share of claims to fame—with a diving speed of over 200 miles per hour, they’re the fastest animals in the world, and they’ve adapted from living on rocky cliffs to a different kind of “mountain”: Chicago’s skyscrapers.  But in 1951, there were none left in Illinois, and it looked as if the species would be wiped out of North America entirely. Today, thanks largely to the Chicago Peregrine Program headed by The Field Museum’s Mary Hennen, Peregrines are flourishing to the point that they’re no longer in immediate danger.

Recounting the life of a successful Peregrine

I always say that every specimen that comes into the museum has a story, but there is no doubt that some stories have more to them than others.  Here is one of those stories.  On April 4, 2014, a Peregrine Falcon was found dead in Waukegan.  This bird was brought to the museum and prepared as a specimen.  It is now in the collection as FMNH #492345.  Because of the salvage programs Dave Willard, Mary Hennen, Tom Gnoske and now Ben Marks have overseen through the years, thousands of specimens have been added to our collections including more than 35 Peregrines, but F

What do researchers want?

Nina Cummings, who ably heads our photo archives in the museum shared with me an interesting blog post she saw recently.  It was from The Library of Congress and was written by Bill LeFurgy, their digital initiatives manager of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program.  The title of the blog post was “What do researchers want from institutions that preserve digital content?”  Here at the museum we are working through our digital initiatives so the post resonated on several fronts.  The opening statement included this: “User expectations influence so much of what stewardship organizations do. We collect and preserve all content primarily to support use.” 

Video: Recovering Peregrines with Mary

"The city is just a pseudo-cliff," says Mary Hennen, explaining a Peregrine falcon's perspective on Chicago's landscape.  The narrow ledges of Chicago's skyscrapers make ideal nesting sites for Illinois's wild Peregrine falcons--a species that might not be absent from the state in the first place if not for the Chicago Peregrine Program (CPP).  Mary Hennen is the Collections Assistant in the Field Museum's Bird Division in addition to being the CPP's Director. She attributes much of the program's success to hard-working researchers and volunteers.

A beautiful Fall Friday night at the museum

Friday evening at the museum there is a Happy Hour for any staff and others working in the museum. It take place in the Zoology Classroom, and it is a great way to end the week and get to know more about what is happening at the museum. The conversations always are different depending on who comes and who you have time to talk to. People come from all parts of the museum such as Institutional Advancement, Exhibits, Information Technology, Environmental and Conservation Programs, and the four research departments.