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June 20, 2018  |  Login

Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus

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What Are They Like?

The Peregrine falcon is considered one of the world's fastest and most agile birds of prey. When hunting, these birds go into sharp downward dives that can reach speeds of over 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour). They have curved beaks and strong talons, which are useful for catching prey. The Peregrine Falcon has a body length of 15-20 inches (38-51 centimeters), and weighs 1.25-2.75 pounds (0.6-1.25 kilograms). The wingspan of a Peregrine falcon measures about 3.5 feet (1 meter)and their wings have pointed tips that aid with speed and maneuverability.

Where Do They Live?

The Peregrine falcon can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica. Its habitats are diverse and can include deserts, urban cities, tropics and tundra.

Did You Know?
Adult female Peregrine falcons can be up to 30% larger than adult males.

How Are Babies Made?

Peregrine falcons mate for life and breeding season takes place from March to May. Females typically lay three to four eggs at a time, and will hatch after an incubation period of about a month. Both the male and female take part in incubating their eggs.

What Do They Eat?

Peregrine falcons prey on other birds such as pigeons, blackbirds, jays and ducks. They hunt by pursuing and striking their prey in mid-air.

Did You Know?
Both male and female Peregrine falcons incubate their eggs.

What Do They Do?

These amazing birds are known for their impressive range and strong homing instincts. They also have been able to adapt to living in metropolitan areas, making use of spaces such as the ledges of tall buildings for nesting. Large pigeon populations found in cities provide a stable food source.

How Concerned Should We Be?

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which keeps a "Red List" of species in danger worldwide, lists the Peregrine Falcon as "least concern." At one point, Peregrine falcons were listed as an endangered species. Pesticide residues (DDT] found in their prey were directly responsible for the drastic decline in population by causing eggshells to become so thin the eggs often broke before the chicks were developed enough to hatch. After the DDT ban in the 1970s. eggs became healthy again and population numbers improved significantly.

What's Being Done?

The Peregrine Fund is dedicated to protecting birds of prey in the wild. This organization works on a national and international level to educate the public and ensure the conservation of these majestic birds.


Nature “Raptor Force” The Peregrine’s Stoop

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