The Peregrine Falcon is Built for Speed
By Cyndi Mudge
Published: 02/05/2012  Updated: 08/08/2019
Photo by Neal Maine

Soaring along the bluffs and jetties of the Oregon Coast, the Peregrine Falcon is a breathtaking sight to behold.

The Peregrine Falcon is a distinctive bird of prey with its white speckled chest. It is known as the fastest animal on earth, capable of reaching speeds up to 200 mph as it dives for food. Its habitat ranges from the Arctic Tundra to the Baja tropics, and this elusive bird can be seen at many locations along the Oregon Coast.

Fall and winter months offer the best viewing opportunities. Peregrines frequent coastal cliffs and estuaries, seeking their primary food source - other birds. Peregrines were once on the brink of extinction, but are now on the rebound. In 1998, 1650 pairs were counted and it was removed from the endangered species list.

Peregrines mate for life and one of the best places to view breeding pairs is at Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge, located along the Three Capes Scenic Route, approximately 10 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon. Other great locations for viewing these birds include Ecola State Park and Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Bay Ocean Spit at Tillamook Bay and Fort Stevens State Park at the mouth of the Columbia River. For more information visit
The Peregrine Falcon is Built for Speed