July 24, 2020 By Swapnil Suryawanshi

The peregrine falcon, also known as the peregrine, and historically as the duck hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head.

Speed: 390 km/h (Maximum, Adult)Wingspan: 74 – 120 cm (Adult)Scientific name: Falco peregrinusFamilyFalconidaeClass: AvesLength: 34 – 58 cm (Adult)Mass: Female: 0.7 – 1.5 kg (Adult), Male: 0.33 – 1 kg (Adult)

Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Conservation statusConcentrations of pesticides from its prey caused widespread failure to reproduce during 1940s-1970s, and species disappeared from much of former breeding range. Has been reintroduced in many temperate areas in North America, and Arctic nesting populations have recovered somewhat also. Current populations appear to be stable or increasing.
HabitatOpen country, cliffs (mountains to coast); sometimes cities. Over its wide range, found in wide variety of open habitats, from tundra to desert mountains. Often near water, especially along coast, and migrants may fly far out to sea. Limited by availability of nest sites and prey; thus, it often moves into cities, nesting on building ledges and feeding on pigeons.

One of the world’s fastest birds; in power-diving from great heights to strike prey, the Peregrine may possibly reach 200 miles per hour. Regarded by falconers and biologists alike as one of the noblest and most spectacular of all birds of prey. Although it is found on six continents, the Peregrine is uncommon in most areas; it was seriously endangered in the mid-20th century because of the effects of DDT and other persistent pesticides.

Migration :

Permanent resident on northwest coast and in some temperate regions; northern breeders are long-distance migrants, many going to South America. Migrants often travel along coastlines and regularly occur well out at sea.

Feeding Behavior :

Often hunts by flying very high, then stooping in spectacular dive to strike prey out of the air. Large prey may be knocked out of the air, fed upon on the ground where it falls. Also pursues prey in level flight, after having spotted it from a perch or while flying. May fly very low over ground or sea, taking prey by surprise.

Diet :

Mostly birds. Feeds on a wide variety of birds. Pigeons are often favored prey around cities, and ducks and shorebirds often taken along coast; known to take prey as large as loons, geese, large gulls, and as small as songbirds. Also eats a few small mammals, seldom insects, rarely carrion.

Eggs :

3-4, sometimes 2-5, rarely 6. Whitish to pale reddish-brown, heavily marked with warm brown. Incubation is mostly by female, 32-35 days. Male brings food for female during incubation. Young: Female stays with young at first, while male brings food for her and for young; later, female hunts also. Age of young at first flight 39-49 days.

Young ;

Female stays with young at first, while male brings food for her and for young; later, female hunts also. Age of young at first flight 39-49 days

Nesting :

May mate for life. Territorial and courtship displays include high circling flight by male, spectacular dives and chases by both sexes. Male feeds female. Breeding Peregrines defend the immediate area of the nest from intruders, but hunt over a much larger area. Nest site is usually on cliff ledge, sometimes in hollow of broken-off tree snag or in old stick nest of other large bird in tree. In some areas, may nest on ground on hilltop. Also uses ledges of buildings, bridges, other structures. Some sites may be used for many years. No nest built, eggs laid in simple scrape.

Is the peregrine falcon the fastest bird :

The Peregrine falcon is the fastest bird – and in fact the fastest animal on Earth – when in a dive. As it executes this dive, the Peregrine falcon soars to a great height, then dives steeply at speeds of over 200 miles (320 km) per hour. … The Peregrine falcon’s diving speed is amazing.

Is a peregrine falcon faster than a cheetah :

Fastest organismThe fastest land animal is the cheetah, which has a recorded speed of between 109.4 km/h (68.0 mph) and 120.7 km/h (75.0 mph). The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird, and the fastest member of the animal kingdom, with a diving speed of 389 km/h (242 mph).

Where do peregrine falcons live :

Peregrine falcons are among the world’s most common birds of prey and live on all continents except Antarctica. They prefer wide-open spaces, and thrive near coasts where shorebirds are common, but they can be found everywhere from tundra to deserts.

Description :

Falco peregrinusRoyal National ParkNew South Wales, Australia

The peregrine falcon has a body length of 34 to 58 cm (13–23 in) and a wingspan from 74 to 120 cm (29–47 in). The male and female have similar markings and plumage, but as in many birds of prey the peregrine falcon displays marked sexual dimorphism in size, with the female measuring up to 30% larger than the male.

Falco peregrinusRoyal National ParkNew South Wales, Australia.