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In February the peregrine falcons sense the spring. Male and female chase each other in quick and acrobatic flights, imitating passionate persecutions of hunting. Scientists call these loving games: displays. Anyone who has not contemplated the peregrine falcons ascending in perfect circles, diving in vertical drops and changing from hand to hand (in full sky) a newly captured prey, does not know what is the perfection, the speed and agility in the flight. Throughout the period of displays, the male constantly watches to expel any fellow that intends to invade its territory. The fiefs of falcons usually have from two to five kilometer-radius and their owners do not allow others pilgrims to hunt in their borders. Thus, falcons delimit the density of their populations so they never are neither very numerous nor harmful to the birds that constitute their food.
At the beginning of March, the female (quite larger than the male) lays from two to four eggs in a natural and inaccessible hollow of the rocky place or in an old crow's nest. Incubation lasts thirty-five days. The baby birds are white during the first two weeks. The mother watches busily the nest, expelling any alleged enemy, no matter if it is the size of a fox or a wolf. The male hunts for the whole family and transports the prey in the claws to the vicinity of the nest, where delivers it to the female who is responsible for pluck and tear the birds to feed their baby birds.
During the second two weeks, falcons are covering of feathers. A month and a half, they are already fully covered and are able to fly. As we can see in the photos, young or immature falcons are reddish-brown. After the first molt, they acquire the gray and blue shades of the adult animals. During a month, the young falcons live in the paternal rock, after leaving the nest. During this time, the adults instruct them in the hunting. For this, the male falcon transports preys that leaves fall in the air, so their young capture them in full flight. Gradually, as their muscles and wings are strengthened, the young falcons accompany their parents on the hunt.
Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente
Instructions: In the comprehension test circle one of the following letters: a, b, c.
1.Falcons sense the spring in the month of:
2. The acrobatic flights of falcons are called:
a) Preparation of hunting
c) Perfection of flight
3. During displays, the male:
a) Watch the territory
c) Look at the preys
4. The falcon fiefs often have:
a) From 2 to 5 kilometers in diameter
b) From 2 to 5 kilometer-radius
c) From 2 to 5 square kilometers.
5. They do not allow that other pilgrims hunt in order to:
a) Keep their territory
b) Demonstrate strength
c) Limit the density of their populations
6. In what month does the female lay eggs?
7. How many eggs does the female lay?
a) From three to five
b) From two to four
c) From one to three
8. How long is the incubation?
a) Twenty-five days
b) Thirty days
c) Thirty-five days
9. Who usually hunt?
a) The male
b) The female
c) Young males
10. The young falcons are:
c) Reddish brown
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No 141, de 29-IX-1999.
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