Threatened with extinction across North America, peregrine falcons were bred in captivity and provided with new territories until their populations rebounded.
Godkin begins her account of this environmental good news by introducing a peregrine pair who return from migration, court and lay eggs, only to have their first eggs taken by a rock-climbing human being. Luckily, peregrines will lay a second clutch, and the human has a good reason for the theft. Because the raptors’ DDT-affected eggs are too fragile to hatch normally, researchers have found a way to raise and breed them in captivity, releasing some into the wild after a carefully shielded chickhood and thereby saving the endangered species. Dramatic oil paintings show falcons in various activities—soaring, diving, hunting and feeding their chicks—and chicks being fed in captivity. In a change of pace, one spread shows a city street filled with people demonstrating against DDT. Later, a marauding great horned owl finds a nest; the surviving nestlings are moved to a city skyscraper ledge. Readers of this present-tense account who follow the links mentioned in the author’s note may be surprised to learn that this is not a new story. Peregrine falcons were removed from the U.S. and Canadian endangered species lists in 1999, though they’re still monitored in both countries.
Old or new, this success story will be welcomed by nature lovers. (Informational picture book. 4-7)