Prairie Falcon

Falco mexicanus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Falcons (Falconidae)

Code 4

PRFA

Code 6

FALMEX

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Prairie Falcon has a large range, estimated globally at 3,800,000 square kilometers. Native to Canada, the United States, and Mexico, this bird prefers wetland, grassland, and shrubland ecosystems, though it can live on pastureland. The global population of this bird is estimated at 10,000 to 100,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Prairie Falcon is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Prairie Falcon: Medium falcon with brown upperparts, dark-spotted pale underparts, dark brown moustache stripe. Dark underwing-bars visible in flight. Feeds on small birds and mammals, and large insects. Swift flight with rapid wing beats. Sometimes alternates several rapid wing beats with a glide.


Range and Habitat

Prairie Falcon: This species breeds from southern British Columbia and the Canadian Prairie Provinces south to north-central Mexico and western Texas. It spends winters within its breeding range and sparingly farther east into the Great Plains states. Preferred habitats include barren mountains, dry plains, and prairies.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kree-kree-kree"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Prairie Falcon was first described in 1850 by Hermann Schlegel, the German ornithologist.
  • It often shares its nesting cliff with Common Ravens, Golden Eagles, and Red-tailed Hawks.
  • They sometimes bathe in river shallows, but dust-bathing is probably more common than water-bathing, because of the general scarcity of standing water in its habitat.
  • A group of falcons has many collective nouns, including a "bazaar", "eyrie", "ringing up", "stooping up", and "tower" of falcons.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Prairie Falcon

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X