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Peregrine Falcons Ruling The Skies Once Again

By Melissa McEwen in News on Mar 17, 2015 8:20PM

Peregrine falcons are a top-level predator known for their majestic feats in flight, like being able to reach over 200 miles per hour during a high-speed dive. But these amazing abilities weren't enough to save the species from the effects of the pesticide DDT, which decimated the falcon population in the 1960s by weakening the shells of their eggs.

After DDT was banned it took quite a while for the birds to recover, and in 1973 they were placed on the Illinois Endangered Species List.

Thankfully, since then things have changed. Changed so much that you can find them ruling the skies of Chicago from perches in tall buildings like UIC's University Hall . The species was downgraded from "endangered" to "threatened" in 2004, and now the Field Museum reports its status is being changed this year to "recovered."

Read about some of the falcon families that the Field Museum monitors on their website and follow them on Facebook if you want to learn more.