Jonathan Jones: The Peregrine Falcon

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Flying in between the skyscrapers of the Sydney CBD is the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Known to be living within our cityscape, they often feed on feral pigeons (Columba livia domestica).

Peregrine falcons are one of the fastest birds of prey and manage speeds of up to 300km per hour when swooping down. A pair of peregrine falcons has been noticed living in the chimney-stack of the old Carlton and United Breweries building opposite the University of Technology Sydney.

Falcons are highly intelligent birds and have had a long relationship with humans, so it’s no surprise they inhabit our cities. Recently, many vineyards, orchards and even rural towns like Dubbo in central NSW have started using falcons and other birds of prey to control feral birds like the common starling (Sturnus vulgaris) by scaring them away.


Each week Jonathan Jones shares stories of native Australian birds, touching on their importance, the issues they face and what we can learn from them. Jones' upcoming artwork for the 9th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art requires thousands of native Australian bird feathers, which he needs your help to find.

Image: Peregrine falcon. Photo via Birdlife Australia