Veol.hu reports that the association of BirdLife Hungary (MME) chose the peregrine falcon the Bird of the Year in 2018. The speciality of the animal selected for the title is that for more than a decade, it did not breed in Hungary, and it is only for a few years now that it appears in the country. Let’s get to know more about this year’s winner!
After more than a decade, the peregrine falcon, Bird of the Year in 2018, has bred in Hungary since 1997. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the return of the fastest bird in the world, the association of BirdLife Hungary chose it as the winner of the title.
The peregrine falcon is a predatory bird with pointed wings that is larger than the common wood pigeon. It is a real “globetrotter” as it breeds on most continents except for Antarctica. It settles down and nests almost anywhere where it finds appropriate cliffs or the nests of other birds to use. Even skyscrapers or high buildings in city centres can be ideal nesting sites for the falcon.
It mostly hunts for flying birds, such as songbirds, geese or herons. The most common prey of it, however, are crows and starlings. As far as its hunting technique is concerned, its incredible acceleration to 320 km/h enables it to sneak up on its prey from up in the air and catch or kick it onto the ground.
The population of these birds is difficult to calculate, but the number of the current species ranges from approximately 100,000 to 500,000.
Peregrin falcons nesting in Hungarian mountains are most probably a group of those living in the Carpathian Mountains in bigger number. In fact, experts say that it is also unlikely that a bigger group of falcons would have lived in Hungary in the past.
Before its extinction, the last documented species were seen in 1964, in the Bükk mountains. For about three decades, only some wandering species appeared in Hungary until 1997, when the continuously increasing population of the falcons in Europe reached Hungary as well. From that time on, the peregrine falcon has been a regular visitor to the country that also nests here. 🙂