The Peregrine Falcon Association

Alaka Rajesh

What the PFA does

The Peregrine Falcon Association is an informational program that educates people of all ages. We want to raise awareness and instruct others on the past and the future of this particular species of birds. This program was created a couple of years ago by Josephine Breedlove and her nephew Ivy Breedlove. The two family members started off educating interested families in their local town of Marion, New York after bonding in the Adirondack Mountains. They decided they wanted to raise this awareness to higher standards instead of staying local, wanting to teach people all around the United States and eventually around the world about the fastest species of bird on the planet.

Our Mission

Our mission at the PFA is to raise awareness about the fastest birds on the planet. We want to educate children and adults about the past and the future of the peregrine falcons. Their past wasn't great in the Adirondack Mountains, becoming fully extinct in the 1980's due to pesticides, but they have made an amazing comeback. We want to teach people about these birds and what to know about them so that they won't become an endangered species in the future.
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What are Peregrine Falcons?

Peregrine falcons are the fastest species of birds on the planet. They can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour very easily and effortlessly. Even though many people think that these birds have a healthy population because of their speed and hunting ability, there numbers can be easily threatened. Their past in the Adirondack regions has proved this to be true. These birds were once completely extinct in the Adirondack Mountains in the 1980's, due to the amount of pesticides sprayed by hired workers. No one knew the result of the pesticides, but after some research, the government chose to finally come to action. The state of New York set up specific laws to look after these birds. The state has banned the pesticide DDT along with other pesticides to ensure the peregrine falcons' safety. Many foundations and organizations have also volunteered as well. The rangers at the Adirondack Mountains close certain trails during breeding season so that human appearance or interference doesn't lower the chance of breeding success. With the help of the government and other blooming organization and foundations like us, we can make sure the the peregrine falcon can continue to strive for posterity.

About the Founders

Ivy and Josephine Breedlove, an aunt and niece team are the founders of The Peregrine Falcon Association. The story behind the PFA is a fascinating one at that. Ivy Breedlove, a teenager at the time of the story's beginning was an aspiring historian with a motive to make a genealogical masterpiece, a book about her Breedlove family, current members and past. She worked very hard to make this vision come true, collecting information about every member of her family that she possibly could. But, her book wasn't complete without information about her Aunt Josephine. She once said, "Out of all the relatives I've learned about, I'm most intrigued by Josephine, the Breedlove mystery woman," (27). She was surprised when she learned that her aunt lived alone on top of the Adirondacks. To learn more about her aunt, Ivy Breedlove convinced her father to let her go with a mountain survival expert named Mountain Mama. Ivy loved meeting her aunt for the first time she could remember. She never met anyone like her before, no one as independent or good with wildlife as her aunt. They discovered that they both had many similarities with each other, and this made them a good team. With Josephine's love of wildlife and expertise at proper word choice, they decided to create the organization to alert people about what Ivy's aunt knew about best.

The Inspiration

Many moments in Josephine and Ivy Breedlove's life inspired them to create this association. Josephine Breedlove had a troubled childhood, for people judged her based on her actions and beliefs. Her family acted disgraced to have someone like her, and she soon escaped her troubles and went to live alone on the Adirondack Mountains. She wanted to escape and become free like the birds, which have been very important animals in her life. When Ivy was trying to find her aunt, her Aunt Tib told her, "Her best friends were the birds. Jo just loved being around anything with wings," (27). In her yearbook for "special" children, instead of her picture, she put a picture of a dove. She was really obsessed with being like birds, free and not judged.

Even after she moved to the Adirondacks, the birds followed. She has a bird sanctuary dedicated to helping birds, and that is how she and her niece bonded. They realized that they have more in common than anyone thinks. After Ivy's mother passed away, her Aunt Josephine took her to a nature sanctuary, where birds flew over their heads and it was a very peaceful moment. After her mothers death, Ivy always "pictured her soaring free like a bird," (138). This is what Josephine wanted people to know her as, a free bird soaring.

After they both returned to the Breedlove family home, they decided to make this association, to give praise and raise awareness to a bird that brought them closer together. The peregrine falcon is a bird that lived in the Adirondack Mountains for a long time, and that is where they bonded. The birds brought them together, and they chose the peregrine falcon specifically because of the relation that it had to both of them. They were both constatnly judged, but they found hope together. And Ivy, a historian and a founder of this association lives by her motto even today. "You can't pursue history without finding hope," (185).

What You Can do to Help

There is no need to sit back and watch big organizations do everything, because everyone can help make sure peregrine falcons don't become extinct. Before going hiking in the Adirondacks or any mountain range, be sure to read the rules and regulations provided on their website or at the place itself. Never go onto closed or blocked trails, for they are blocked for a specific reason such as to prevent human interference during breeding season. Also, do not feed any wild animals anywhere! If you do, the animals will not be able to find food for themselves, and they will be dependent. Finally, do not get too close to wild animals like the peregrine falcon. If you want to, contact a professional bird handler so you or the bird will not get hurt.
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