Peregrine Falcon

Rattlesnake Ledge

Peregrine falcons have been nesting successfully on Rattlesnake Ledge in the Cedar River Watershed for several years.

Peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) are among the world's fastest birds. They have been clocked at 200 miles per hour as they hunt other birds using “stoops” or extremely fast vertical dives. Peregrines prey on a wide variety of small and medium sized birds, generally hunting them over open areas such as lakes, wetlands, and meadows. Typically, the peregrine will perch on a high cliff where it can see the prey as they fly into range below. The falcon will then fly out above the potential prey and execute the “stoop” or hunting dive.

Peregrines occur year-round in Washington, as either nesting or migratory individuals. Nesting and perching habitat usually includes prominent cliffs that provide unobstructed views of the nearby landscape. A source of water, such as a lake or wetland, is typically close to the nest site and provides an adequate prey base of small to medium-sized birds.

Western Washington is known for its high density of wintering peregrines, particularly in the Puget Sound estuaries and in estuaries along the outer coast.


Our long-term goal is to maintain existing peregrine falcon nesting and foraging habitat, and to continue to provide the habitat that supports good populations of prey species in the watershed.


What are we doing?

Protect All Watershed Habitats
Management of the watershed serves to avoid or minimize adverse effects of major events such as fire, spills of toxic materials, invasive species, and excessive human disturbance. In addition, we protect peregrine nesting sites from disturbance by prohibiting certain activities like blasting within 0.5 miles of the nest during nesting season.
View more information on habitat protection.