Peregrine falcons, once an endangered species, can now be found almost everywhere including tall buildings and bridges. Their job is to hunt other birds and small animals. They hunt from above and after sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive than can top over 200 mph.
This is not the first falcon to be spotted in downtown Memphis, but it is the first peregrine falcon to be spotted in a number of years. Henry Turely was responsible for the first peregrine falcons to be located here almost 30 years ago.
"Too many pigeons downtown, some sick and lame. In the interest of wanting to sort of thin the crop a bit we heard that the best natural way to deal with pigeons was peregrine falcons so we bought five," says Turley.
Turley says he and his associates paid a thousand dollars each for these high speed hunters.
At least one peregrine falcon decided to wander into the downtown area a few weeks ago. No one knows where this falcon came from or how long it will cruise the sky over downtown Memphis, but for now the pigeons are gone and the squirrels are nervous.