Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
Peregrine: Anglicized version of Latin
peregrinus meaning "wandering", probably in reference to its
traveling over wide areas.
Duck Hawk, Great-footed Hawk; Spanish – halcón peregrino, halcón pollero
Class: Aves; Order: Falconiformes; Family: Falconidae
Key Identification Characters:
Adults with blackish head and broad, black malar (moustache) stripe; slaty-gray upper parts, brownish barred underparts; wings pointed; large size for falcon; immature similar to adult but browner above and with streaked underparts. Males and females appear similar although females slightly larger. Length, 16"; wingspan, 41".
Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America south thru
Primarily birds (over 250 species recorded as prey world-wide), mainly sparrow to ptarmigan size; some mammals including shrews, bats, mice, rabbits, squirrels; incidental items include slugs, fiddler crabs; rare instances of cannibalism and carrion feeding.
Number of eggs/clutch: range of 2 to 5 eggs, normally 3 eggs; egg: dark reddish-buff ground color, sprinkled and blotched with bright reddish-brown and chestnut; 2.05" x 1.55"; nesting: typically a cliff nester but also nests in tree cavities, stick nests of other cliff-nesting birds, on the ground in tundra areas; cliff nests with little or no nesting material unless using existing bird nest.
Contributor: Scott M. Cutler, Curator of Collections and Exhibits; Curator of Ornithology