Activity of the month

Make a peregrine glider

June is a wonderful time for wildlife. Many of the young birds have just left the nest or ‘fledged’ including our top predators, the peregrine falcons. A young peregrine has just six weeks to transform from a plump, fluffy chick into the fastest animal in the world! They have to learn quickly, and they do this through play. If you head up to the Peregrine Watch Point this month you might see the young or ‘juvenile’ peregrines swooping through the Gorge practicing their flying skills. If you are very lucky you might even see a ‘food pass’ with the juvenile peregrines flying upside to catch food dropped by their parents!
Download the sheet below to find out how to make a peregrine glider, and see how fast you can make your peregrine falcon fly!

You will need

  • the two peregrine shapes from the separate Download
  • some thin card (cereal box or similar)
  • colouring pens/pencils
  • a glue stick
  • a toilet roll
  • some scissors
  • a ruler

Step-by-step guide

  1. Print out the front and back peregrine falcon shapes from the pdf (on the left hand side of this page, below the picture of children flying their peregrine).
  2. Glue the front shape onto some thin card. Cut it out carefully (ask an adult to help!)
  3. Glue the back shape onto another piece of thin card.
  4. Colour in the two halves of your peregrine.
  5. Take your toilet roll and draw a line 4cm along its length.
  6. Ask your adult helper to cut this out, giving you a short tube.
  7. Glue the toilet roll section in between the two peregrine halves with the opening running front to back. It should sit nicely behind the body and between the wings.
  8. Glue the wing tips of the two peregrine halves together – but leave the head and tail ends open.
  9. Take your long piece of string and fold it in half. Pull the middle loop through the toilet roll so that it runs from the head to the tail of your peregrine.
  10. Get a friend or grown up to hold the loop end of the string – it works best if your friend stands on a stool or you crouch down.
  11. Starting with your peregrine at your end of the string, pull the two ends apart, your peregrine will glide up the string!

Photographs © Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project.