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Children's Nonfiction Birds

Falcons in the City

The Story of a Peregine Family

by (author) Chris Earley

photographs by Luke Massey

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 13
  • Grade: 4 to 8


What happens when a peregrine falcon chooses to lay its eggs high atop a Chicago condominium balcony? Here is the story of a family of wild birds that moves into a cramped urban home and decides to settle in among towers filled with people and noise. The birds' new human neighbors are quick to try and evict, but it turns out that the falcons have rights too and the law is on their side.

This amusing true-life story looks at the issues related to urban wildlife and how urban dwellers co-exist with an ever-increasing wildlife population that finds ingenious -- and sometimes devious -- ways to move into our homes and cities, often without notice.

Illustrated with photographs documenting the early life of a peregrine falcon family that grows from eggs to full-fledged birds in the flowerbox of a curious apartment-dweller, this book also explores the natural history of this majestic bird species.


About the authors

Text by Chris Earley ; Photography by Luke Massey

Chris Earley's profile page

Luke Massey's profile page

Excerpt: Falcons in the City: The Story of a Peregine Family (by (author) Chris Earley; photographs by Luke Massey)


Imagine coming home to your 28th-floor apartment and finding a large bird looking at you through your balcony window. That is what happened to Chicago resident Dacey Arashiba. A peregrine falcon sat on his balcony railing for a few days and then, even more surprising, another one showed up: two peregrine falcons! This was the beginning of Dacey's amazing adventure with his two new neighbors.


Editorial Reviews

A good addition to a young naturalist's book collection.

Durham Region

(starred review) This is the story of a peregrine falcon family that moves into a cramped urban home amongst towers teeming with people. This photographic study explores urban wildlife and how city dwellers co-exist with an ever-increasing wildlife population that finds ingenious--and devious--ways to move into our homes and cities.

The Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens 2017

Well designed spreads provide details on identification, courtship, nest defence, hunting, feeding, banding, fledging, and scientific research. This is a highly recommended title that would make an excellent addition to any school library. Many students will read the book for the pure pleasure of the interesting tale and evocative pictures. The information will inspire some to learn more about this fascinating species. Others will use it as a handy research source.

Resource Links

Beautifully illustrated with dozens of stunning images... If you have a youngster on a gift giving list, Falcons in the City is a book that will definitely captivate him or her.

OFO News

My top recommendation is Chris Earley's Falcons in the City published by Firefly this fall. It tells the story of a pair of peregrine falcons that nested successfully on the balcony of a Chicago condo. It is captivating. The target audience is youngsters, but the photographs are so beautiful they will appeal to adults as well. Earley tells the birds' story but he also seamlessly weaves in other information about the falcons and bird science.

London Free Press

The stunning close-up photographs have remarkable clarity and enhance the already engaging tale. No detail is left out... An informative, engaging, and worthy addition to elementary collections, especially for bird enthusiast.

School Library Journal

Written by Chris Earley, this is a captivating, true story about two peregrine falcons that nested and raised their four babies on a Chicago apartment balcony. With lots of fascinating, age-appropriate facts about these once-endangered birds, the book can be read front-to-back as a sequential story about this bird family or for research about peregrine falcons in general. Full of stunning photos by Luke Massey, this would be a great book to include in an elementary school or classroom library, appealing mostly to children ages 6-12 and, of course, to adults who are also interested in these fascinating birds!

Green Teacher Magazine

More than a dynamic story about birds, this is a study of ecological coexistence.


The stunning close-up photographs have remarkable clarity and enhance the already engaging tale.

Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's and Young Adult Literature

Beautifully illustrated with clear, often breathtaking photographs of these masters of the sky... Mr. Earley writes in chapters that move from discovery and identification, to every aspect of the learning dome concerning these amazing predators. The information provided is detailed, and very clear. I love that it also tells the human story of particular peregrines and the journey made with them. It makes the learning for young readers more personal and attractive. I can't imagine there is much more to learn about these beautiful birds.

Sal's Fiction Addiction Blog

Other titles by Chris Earley