March 2015

This cover image shows a male peregrine falcon from the study “Breeding performance and survival in the peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus support an age-related competence improvement hypothesis mediated via an age threshold”.

This male is the oldest peregrine in the study area in Biscay, Northern Spain. He hatched in 2001, and five years later he bred for the first time, 35 km away from the cliff where he hatched. He was breeding with the same female until 2014 when she disappeared. Now, in the breeding season of 2015 he is breeding with a juvenile female.

His nickname is “raptor killer”, as he has a special taste for birds of prey - during the last years he has killed and fed his nestlings with, at least, 29 hen- and pygargus-harriers, sparrowhawks, merlins, kestrels and barn owls.

 

J. Zabala

I. Zuberogoitia

 

You can access the study by following the link below.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jav.00505/abstract

Photo credit: I. Zuberogoitia