The Fruit Falcon of Saint Lucia – 1

The Fruit Falcon of St Lucia is unique in the Falco genus in being the only one that hunts for fruit, although the bird’s hunting methods resemble those of the other members of the genus. The falcon stands about a foot high, with a wingspan of approximately 18 inches.

The fruit of the ackee grows on trees up to 10m high. These fruit are pear-shaped and are only ready to eat when they are yellow-orange. The falcon hovers over the fruit and delicately picks it off the tree with both talons. If the fruit is ripe and ready to eat it will be split open and all the bird has to do is insert its sharp beak into the fruit and eat the two or three fleshy white or cream-coloured arils inside. The bird knows only to eat these pieces as the rest of the fruit is poisonous.

This is an extract from the book Animals Evolution Avoided

Published by Julian Worker

I was born in Leicester. I attended school in Yorkshire and University in Liverpool. I have been to 93 countries and territories including The Balkans and Armenia in 2015, France and Slovakia in 2016, and some of the Greek Islands in 2017. My sense of humour is distilled from The Goons, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. I love being creative in my writing and I love writing about travelling. My next books are a travel book about Greece and a novel inspired by Brexit.

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