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How fast can peregrine falcons dive? See for yourself

WILDLIFE WATCHING — Peregrine falcons have long been considered the fastest bird on the planet. But now we're getting firm numbers.

Using high-tech sensors, scientists are ending the conjecture on how fast these sleek falcons can stoop on their hapless prey.

What's your guess?

Watch this remarkable video to the very end. You'll be surprised!

Sprague lands high speed air show for eagle-eyed hawk watchers

BIRDWATCHING — While the new commander at Fairchild Air Force Base is looking into options for bringing back the big Air Show, area birdwatchers are finding their own aerial displays of high-speed flying.

You simply have to know where to look.

Check out this Tuesday report from local birder Jon Isacoff:

Quick run to Sprague sewage lagoons today.  A pleasant surprise was a PEREGRINE FALCON that bombed shorebirds and waterfowl several times, losing a chase with with a Wilson's Phalarope.  Shorebird species present:

Killdeer

Avocet

Spotted Sandpiper

Greater YL

Lesser YL

Baird's Sandpiper

Long-billed Dowitcher

WIlson's Phalarope

Limited falconry capture season opens in Montana

FALCONRY – Montana’s first nonresident falconry collection season has opened through March 31 when falconers can collect chicks from the nest. But the number of participants is strictly limited.

Montana approved the nonresident capture provision because some Montana falconers wanted reciprocity with other states.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks allows only one nonresident permit to collect a young falcon. Up to an additional five in-state licensed falconers are allowed to capture chicks.

Jay Sumner of the Montana Peregrine Institute says most falconers add to their flock by going to breeders of captive birds that have more popular varieties than the native Montana peregrines.

The state has about 90 licensed falconers, but only 40 actively fly birds.

Local falconer’s Audubon program connects hunting, conservation

WILDLIFE — “Falconry and game hunting, a conservation alliance,” is the title of a program to be presented by Spokane falconer Doug Pineo on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The program is sponsored by the Spokane Audubon’s Society which meets at Riverview Retirement Community, Village Community Building, 2117 E. North Crescent Ave. near Upriver Drive.

Pineo's involvement in falconry dates back decades, and he was involved with the movement that brought the peregrine falcon back from the brink of extinction.  He recently retired a shoreline specialist with the Washington Department of Ecology.