Inhabitants of the Apennines – the wolf and the peregrine falcon

The appenninic wolf

Among the wild animals that inhabit the territory of the National Park of the Tuscan-Emilian there is also the infamous wolf, animal always accompanied by a reputation as a terrifying predator that, since ancient times, has frightened generations of mountain dwellers . Because of this its bad reputation, passed down from popular beliefs and superstitions, the wolf was threatened with extinction in the mountains of the Apennines.

le-due-querce-lupo-appenninicoSince several years, fortunately, things have changed and this wonderful predator has returned spontaneously to repopulate areas of the Park. To spot him, however, it is always very difficult, because of his shy and diffident nature and its habits of the hunter who prefers to move under cover of darkness.

During a walk along one of the paths of the Park, you can spot his footprints and droppings that leaves on the ground to mark its territory. The most inaccessible areas, among the great silent woods, you might hear it howling, and if you are lucky to be able to see it while moving cautiously among the trees or in some clearing discovery.

Accompanied by guides of the Park, you can take evocative mountain hikes and, with the wolfowling technique, you can reproduce the wolf’s howl and waits for his answer.

 

The peregrine falcon

Another resident of the Park is the peregrine falcon, a beautiful nocturnal bird of prey belonging to the species of Falconidae. The name comes from the dark coloration feathers that are found on the head, which do resemble the cap worn by the pilgrims of the past who frequented these areas. The plumage appears darker in the upper part of the body, while at the bottom the lighter coloring varies from shades of black ones of brown. le-due-querce-falco-pellegrino

Its dimensions are averages, the adult specimen can reach a length of 40-60 cm. The wingspan corresponds to about one meter. The wings have a pointed shape and the tail is black with white stripes on the sides. The beak and feet are yellow. The male and female are quite similar, the female is slightly larger.

The peregrine falcon is adapted to different environments and is a stationary bird prefers wild and open spaces, with little surrounding vegetation, where it finds the best conditions both for nesting and for hunting.

It feeds mainly partridges, ducks, crows, but also supplements his diet with mice, badgers and squirrels. Lonely character during the day resting in the branches, while at sunset the hunt begins. Along the trails of the park, the sun went down and, with a little luck, you can see this magnificent bird of prey while circling in the sky and it dives steeply, almost 300 km/h, to seize its prey.