Peregrine falcon poses in a spotlight of sunshine

June 1, 2014, 1 p.m.

Peregrine falcon crouched for take-off

One of the first birds to be placed on California's Endangered Species List, the peregrine falcon came dangerously close to going locally extinct. There were only five nesting pairs in 1970. But the birds rallied and made a comeback and now can be found up and down the state, with a count of 300 nesting sites in 2008. This photo was taken in Pismo Beach, California, and aparently this falcon knows how happy birders are to spot peregrines since it chose such a well-lit spot to perch. As photographer Marlin Harms notes, this is "natural light, but if I had had a spotlight I couldn't have placed it better."

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Jaymi Heimbuch is a writer and photographer at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Google+, and Facebook.