A Peregrine Preens

The “fastest animal on earth” slows down to strut its stuff

I remember, as a kid growing up, never missing an episode of Marlin Perkins’ famous TV series “Wild Kingdom.” As each weekly adventure profiled still-wild places around the globe, and the rare creatures to be found there, I recall one episode in particular featuring “the fastest animal on earth,” the peregrine falcon.

I can’t tell you how badly I wanted to see a peregrine falcon, which species at the time teetered on the brink of extinction due to use of the notorious pesticide DDT. When I resolved then and there to someday go wherever in the world one had to go to behold such a creature, I could not have imagined that someday I would simply pull over to the side of the road overlooking Yaquina Bay in Newport, Oregon, and watch this young bird casually perform his full preening ritual for my sole enjoyment, as OSU’s research vessel Elakha passed unaware below.

Thank you again, Marlin Perkins, for planting seeds of inspiration in a young heart and mind, so long ago.

More Videos From Nature's Coast