Heckled By ParrotsBlue Sky WritingRebecca K. O'Connor

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A Peregrine Stooping

There is a place in Lift I often find myself reading from at bookstores that describes Anakin falling and refers to Ken Franklin’s video of sky diving with his peregrine Frightful. I remember the falconry meet when Ken was keynote speaker and showed us the raw footage of the soon to be National Geographic special. The longwingers gave him standing ovation…some of them, I swear, with tears in their eyes.  I didn’t quite understand. It would be years later before I finally flew falcons, but I get it now. A peregrine stooping is simply impossible. It is natural magic. From a scene out of Lift at White Water Ranch…

This tuck and fall was pure committed peregrine and a vision that will be etched in my memory for the rest of my falconry career. It was a falcon defying air, redefining terminal velocity and now I was witness to this amazing feat of peregrine evolution.

I get chills every time I imagine it. And here is the video that made is possible for me to really see:

YouTube -  


  1. SassyMike says:

    It really is nothing short of spectacular and makes my eyes water each time I see it. There was an article in I believe it was International Falconer about Ken and they went base jumping with his bird. The number I remember most was negative 28. Which is the amount of negative G-Force the bird was subject to when coming out of a stoop. for the record that would turn a human into a pile of goo.

  2. Chas Clifton says:

    I got a little teary-eyed watching that too, and I am not even a falconer. Thanks for posting it.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by John P, westchesterdead. westchesterdead said: Holy Crap!! RT @drhypercube RKO'C on Ken Franklin, Frightful, the peregrine's stoop and terminal velocity: http://j.mp/7HJeZp […]

  4. Same for me. Amazing video! Stunningly beautiful bird.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    This is amazing! I’ve got these birds nesting in the trees in my backyard (Eugene, OR) & they aren’t showing off those skills here! Just awesome.

  6. Jenny Poore Stengel says:

    Ms O’Connor,thank you for sharing the National Geographic Video showing Mr.Franlklin and Frightful-i just,found out that Frightful passed away -if you are still in contact with Mr.Franklin please let him know a bird lover named Jenny at Seabrook Island SC is very sorry that he lost his friend Frightful but at the same time feel a little better knowing Mr.Franklin and his wife have her as opposed to Frightful taking to the sky one day and not flying back home.
    Jenny Poore Stengel