Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon               Falco peregrinus

Type of Animal:

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

Found almost worldwide except Antarctica, New Zealand, many tropical forests, extremely high mountains, & extreme polar regions

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

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:

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.

Monogamous pairs or solitary

Additional Info:


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

1 month

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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