Peregrine Falcon

ANIMAL:
Peregrine Falcon               Falco peregrinus

Type of Animal:
Falcon

Habitat:
Nest in high cliffs, but if that’s not available, they’ll nest on top of bridges & tall buildings. Can be found in mountainous areas, urban areas, suburbs, deserts, tundra, grasslands, semi-desert, coastal areas, scrubland, mudflats, lake/river edges, savannah, forests, wetlands, among many others

Location(s):
Found almost worldwide except Antarctica, New Zealand, many tropical forests, extremely high mountains, & extreme polar regions

Appearance:
Blue-black to slate grey, w/ black wingtips, black beak/claws w/ yellow nose/feet, female larger than male

Food/Diet:
Bats, songbirds, pigeons, doves, hummingbirds, gulls, corvids, woodpeckers, grebes, ibis, herons, egrets, cranes, swans, geese, ducks, cuckoos, rails, swifts, kestrel, quail, shorebirds, seabirds, terns, rats, mice, voles, rabbits, hares, shrews, squirrels, insects, ptarmigans, chickens, fish, grouse, snakes, lizards, smaller hawks, smaller falcons, carrion, smaller owls

Status in Wild:
Stable

Conservation:
Once endangered in U.S. in mid 20th century due to pesticides such as DDT. Since DDT banned in 1970’s, populations have rebounded significantly along w/ many other animal species, such as Bald Eagles. Taken off U.S. Endangered Species List in 1998.

Lifestyle:
Monogamous pairs or solitary

Additional Info:

Called:
Male-Tiercel
Female-Falcon
Young-Eyas
Group-Pair

Weight:
Male-0.73-2.2 lbs
Female-1.13-3.3 lbs
Young-6.4 oz

Gestation: 
1 month

Height:
Male-1.18-1.6 ft
Female-1.6-2 ft

Body Length:
Male-1.18-1.6 ft
Female-1.6-2 ft

Life Span: 
15 years in wild, up to 20 years in captivity

Tail Length:
Male-5.112 in
Female-7.476 in

Main predators of adults are bears, larger canids, larger felines, & great horned owls. Gyrfalcons, other large owls, eagles, raccoons, foxes, smaller dogs, large hawks, small cats, martens, & snakes prey on young.

Extremely territorial during breeding/nesting season, battles between resident pairs & intruders often fatal. Usually return to these same territories every year from late March-May in N. Hemisphere, often staying during the summer and leaving in early fall.

Chicks fledge after about 2 months.

Name comes from Latin word peregrinus, meaning “to wander.”

Fun Fact(s):
One of the fastest animals in the world, reaching speeds of up to 200 mph.

They’ve been known to attack larger animals, including humans, during breeding/nesting season.

It’s been used in falconry for over 3,000 years, beginning w/ C. Asian nomads.

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