Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Caracaras and Falcons (Falconidae)

Code 4

PEFA

Code 6

FALPER

ITIS

Egg Color:

White or buff, heavily marked with brown and red.



Number of Eggs:

2 - 6



Incubation Days:

28 - 32



Egg Incubator:

Female



Nest Location:

In hollows of old trees, or open tops of cypress, 50 to 90 feet above ground.



Nest Material:

Debris on ledge.



Migration:

Migratory



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General

Peregrine Falcon: Medium robust falcon with blue-gray upperparts; heavily barred sides, belly and leggings. Breast may vary from white to spotted and barred. Head has a black hood and sideburns; short tail and prominent moustache; yellow fleshy eye ring; yellow legs and feet. Sexes are similar. Female is larger than male. Juvenile has brown upperparts and streaked underparts. Races differ in color and size. Pacific NW and Aleutian race is the darkest and the largest. Eurasia and Africa have the palest and the smallest forms.

Range and Habitat

Peregrine Falcon: Breeds from Alaska and the Canadian arctic south locally through the mountainous west, and sparingly in the east. Spends winters on coasts north to British Columbia, along the east coast of the US and along the Gulf Coast. Preferred habitats include tundra, savannas, coasts, mountains, and tall buildings.

Breeding and Nesting

Peregrine Falcon: Two to six buff or white eggs, heavily marked with brown and red, are laid in a nest, often built by other species, set high on a cliff or tall building. Incubation ranges from 28 to 32 days and is carried out by the female.

Foraging and Feeding

Peregrine Falcon: They prey mostly on birds, including doves, pigeons, shorebirds, waterfowl and passerines. They also eat small reptiles and mammals. Most prey is captured in the air, while in flight or from the surface of the water or ground; they walk on the ground in search of birds and rodents. Foraging is a sequence of actions consisting of search, pursuit, capture, killing and eating.

Vocalization

Peregrine Falcon: Species is largely silent away from nesting sites. Common call is a hoarse chatter "kak-kak-kak." Aerial displays will include "ee-chep."

Similar Species

Peregrine Falcon: Merlin is smaller, has a less-distinct moustache stripe and more strongly barred tail. Prairie Falcon has black underwing patch and lacks strong moustache stripe. Gyrfalcon is larger with broader wings and tail, and lacks the bold moustache stripe.

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
BreastX
The upper front part of a bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X