In the heart of a city, a couple have arrived. They are no ordinary couple, perched on a ledge high above the hustle and bustle below they carefully prepare their new home for the next few months. Eggs are laid and the waiting period begins. As one bird hunts for food, the other fiercely protects the precious treasure. Until…a sound, a crack, and an eyas is born. The parents’ work is far from done. Chicks need raising, feeding, guarding, teaching. Soon it will be time to leave. Back next year…
I clearly remember when I first heard about the peregrine falcons that had taken up residence on one of the ledges of a tall building in downtown Melbourne in 2020. Many an hour was spent watching the live webcam feed and cherishing each moment that was captured as these beautiful birds prepared a nest, laid eggs and raised their chicks. To witness nature at its absolute purest and up so close was an incredibly special privilege.
Packed with information and stunningly illustrated, Peregrines in the City details the story of two peregrine falcons who, since 2017, have returned to the same building in Melbourne to breed their chicks. Beautifully narrated, the easily accessible text brings to life the story and life-cycle of these marvellous birds. Young twitchers, ambitious ornithologists and knowledge hungry readers will find their needs are more than met with plenty of bird terminology used: tiercel (male falcon), clutch (group of eggs), eyas (baby falcon that is yet to fly).
Pictures can say a thousand words and they do so and more here. The artwork is incredible and each dramatic scene will be met with gasps. Eyes, feathers, talons and beaks are all captured in minute detail, imploring the reader to take a closer look at these magnificent birds.The thrill of the hunt, the pair arriving at the ledge for the first time, the close-ups of the female incubating the eggs, the chicks with their ‘baby’ plumage, young eyes opening for the first time and the adult using her wings to provide shelter from the rain are just some of the glorious scenes that give a detailed and intimate view into the life of a family of falcons.
A quick google of ‘peregrine falcons at 367 Collins Street’ will bring up a plethora of footage that is a brilliant accompaniment to this book. https://www.theguardian.com/environme...
This is a great example of nature thriving in the city and thanks to the help of volunteers and Dr Victor Hurley of Birdlife Australia and Victorian Peregrine Project, adaptations have been made to the nesting ledge to ensure the best chances of chicks being born and raised successfully.
Back matter includes a variety of ‘Falcon Facts’ that will fascinate and delight and will have readers eagerly gazing up at the skies to see if they can spot one of these fast-moving winged wonders. A brief outline of the history of nesting birds at 367 Collins Street, Melbourne completes this fabulous read.
Recommended for 4+.
With huge thanks to Wild Dog for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.