Peregrine Falcon
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Falco peregrinus

Status

Special Concern

Description

Peregrine Falcons have long pointed wings (wingspan about 1m) and short tail which often appears tapered and pointed in high-speed flight. They have distinctive blackish blue upper parts and 'helmet' with broad down curved 'moustache and white unmarked throat and upper breast. There is dark barring on the whitish breast, underwings and undertail. They can be distinguished from their Prairie Falcon cousins by their much darker colouring and large dark patches on their faces
Peregrines are famous for their spectacular high speed diving attacks when hunting bird prey such as pigeons, gulls, and ducks.

Habitat

Peregrine Falcon nests are usually scrapes made on cliff ledges on steep cliffs, usually near wetlands and grasslands, or on high-rise building ledges. For hunting, they prefer open habitats such as wetlands, grasslands, water coasts and and mountain meadows, but will also hunt over open forest.

Nesting territories established around the nest prevent other pairs from nesting within 1 km or more, ensuring adequate food for all nesting pairs and their young. Larger home ranges are extended, non-defended areas over which Peregrines hunt for additional food and which can extend to more than 20 km from the nest.

Threats

-Pesticide use (i.e. DDT) affecting eggs and leading to reproduction failure
-Loss of habitat due to urban and agricultural developement
-Human disturbance near nest sites

You Can Help!

-Conserve and protect wildlife habitat
-Protect suitable nesting sites and leave them undisturbed
-Use integrated pest management techniques
-Avoid use of pesticides whenever possible

Resources