PEREGRINE FALCON

The Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a sizable, globally distributed raptor belonging to the Falconidae family. It is recognized for being the fastest bird in the world and the fastest mammal in the animal kingdom during its distinctive hunting stoop (high-speed descent). A Peregrine falcon can fly at a top speed of 389 km/h (242 mph), according to a National Geographic television program. Due to its excellent hunting abilities, great trainability, adaptability, and availability through captive breeding, this bird enjoys a high reputation in the falconry community. From tiny to large game bird species, it works well. Throughout numerous centuries and regions of human civilization, it has also been utilized as a religious, royal, or national symbol.

Appearance

Although the male and female of this species have similar markings and plumage, the female is up to 30% bigger than the male, as is the case with many raptors. The adult Peregrine falcon’s back and long, pointed wings are typically bluish-black to slate grey with barely perceptible darker banding; the wingtips are black. The dark brown or black narrow, clean bands that are barred on the white to rusty underparts. The tail is long, slim, and rounded at the end with a black tip and a white band at the very end. It is the same color as the back but has thin, clean bars. The whitish sides of the neck and “mustache” on the cheeks contrast dramatically with the blacktop of the head and the throat is pale. The feet and beak of the cere are black, while the core itself is yellow. An adaptation that allows falcons to kill prey by severing the spinal column at the neck is a notch near the tip of the upper beak. A young Peregrine falcon has substantially darker underparts that are striped rather than barred and a cere and orbital ring that are pale bluish in color.

Peregrine Falcon Photos

Distribution

Except for the most extreme polar regions, extremely high mountains, and the majority of tropical rainforests, peregrine falcons can be found almost everywhere on Earth. New Zealand is the only significant ice-free landmass where they are completely absent. These birds are primarily found in coastal areas, river valleys, mountain ranges, cliffs, and, to a greater extent, towns. They favor open environments, such as grasslands, savannahs, meadows, and shrublands, which can range from tundra to desert highlands. They often live permanently in mild-winter areas, and some individuals, particularly mature males, will stay in the breeding area. During the northern winter, only populations that reproduce in arctic regions often migrate considerable distances.

Habits and Lifestyle

Peregrine falcons can be found practically everywhere on Earth, with the exception of the most extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and the bulk of tropical rainforests. The only big ice-free landmass that is devoid of them entirely is New Zealand. These birds can be found more frequently in towns than in other places, with the exception of coastal regions, river valleys, mountain ranges, and cliffs. They prefer open landscapes including grasslands, savannahs, meadows, and shrubland, which can be found anywhere from the tundra to high desert. They frequently reside permanently in regions with moderate winters, while some animals, especially mature males, choose to remain on the breeding grounds. Only populations that breed in polar locations frequently move across great distances during the northern winter.

peregrine falcon speed 

POPULATION SIZE100-500 THOULIFE SPAN19-25 YEARS
TOP SPEED389 / KM/HMPH WEIGHT330-1500 | GOZ
LENGTH34-58 CM | INCHWINGSPAN74-120 CMINCH | CM INCH 

Diet and Nutrition

Carnivorous peregrine falcons primarily eat waders, waterfowl, songbirds, and medium-sized birds like pigeons and doves. They also occasionally take insects, reptiles, bats, rats, voles, hares, shrews, mice, and squirrels.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON

Northern Hemisphere: February-March

INCUBATION PERIOD 28-34 days

INDEPENDENT AGE 2.5 months

FEMALE NAME falcon

MALE NAME tiercel

BABY NAME eyas

WEB.ANIMAL_CLUTCH_SIZE 2-6 eggs

Breeding in peregrine falcons is monogamous. A couple stays together for life and returns yearly to the same nesting location. These birds are territorial throughout the breeding season, and nesting pairs are typically more than 1 km (0.62 mi) apart. Pairs engage in courting flying that combines acrobatics in the air, precise spirals, and deep dives. In mid-air, the male delivers its caught victim to the female. Peregrine falcons typically build their nests on cliff edges in a scrape. The female selects a location for her nest and makes a shallow depression in the loose dirt, sand, or gravel there to lay her eggs. Nothing is added to the nest. Cliff nests are typically found on ledges covered in vegetation under an overhang. Typically, egg laying takes place from February to The Australian subspecies may breed as late as November, while equatorial populations may nest anytime between June and December. The Northern Hemisphere breeding season runs from March to May, whereas the Southern Hemisphere breeding season runs from July to August. Three to five white to buff eggs with red or brown markings are laid by the female. They are mostly incubated by the female for 29 to 33 days, with some assistance from the male during the day. The chicks have abnormally huge feet and are covered in creamy white down when they first hatch. They are dependent on their parents for up to two months before they become independent 42 to 46 days after hatching. Peregrine falcons typically attain sexual maturity between the ages of 1 and 3, however, in bigger populations, they mate after 2 years. to 3 years of age.

Population

Population threats

The widespread use of certain pesticides, particularly DDT, led to the peregrine falcon becoming an endangered species in many locations. Populations have recovered after DDT was outlawed in the early 1970s, helped along by extensive nesting site protection measures and releases into the wild. In addition to anthropogenic dangers like accidents with man-made objects, larger hawks and owls can also kill peregrine falcons. These birds experience habitat deterioration due to wood harvesting, excessive grazing, and burning in some regions of their range. Another concern comes from human disturbance, such as rock climbing, which forces nesting birds to abandon their homes.

Population number

The widespread use of certain pesticides, particularly DDT, led to the peregrine falcon becoming an endangered species in many locations. Populations have recovered after DDT was outlawed in the early 1970s, helped along by extensive nesting site protection measures and releases into the wild. In addition to anthropogenic dangers like accidents with man-made objects, larger hawks and owls can also kill peregrine falcons. These birds experience habitat deterioration due to wood harvesting, excessive grazing, and burning in some regions of their range. Another concern comes from human disturbance, such as rock climbing, which forces nesting birds to abandon their homes.

Ecological niche

Due to their eating habits, peregrine falcons play a significant role in their environment by managing populations of their prey, including pigeons, doves, ptarmigans, and ducks.

Fun Facts for Kids

The Peregrine falcon is one of the most common bird species and the most widespread raptor in the world.
Since more than 3,000 years ago, starting with nomads in central Asia, the Peregrine falcon has been a highly prized falconry bird. Perhaps because of their incredible hunting and soaring abilities, peregrine falcons have long held cultural significance for people. They were once regarded as the birds of royalty and are still one of the most popular birds in the sport of falconry today.
The Peregrine falcon performs its distinctive hunting stoop (high-speed dive), which entails flying to a great height and then dropping sharply at speeds, quicker than any other animal on the globe. hitting one wing of its victim at a speed of over 320 km/h (200 mph), sparing itself damage from the impact. A bird’s lungs may be harmed by the air pressure from such a dive, but thanks to a particular adaption, it is able to breathe more comfortably when diving by minimizing the shift in air pressure. To disseminate tears and clean debris from their eyes while keeping vision, falcons employ their nictitating membranes, or third eyelids, to protect their eyes.
Sometimes, peregrine falcons kept by falconers are employed to frighten away birds at airports to lower the possibility of bird-plane collisions and increase the safety of air traffic. During World War II, they were also utilized to intercept homing pigeons.
The national bird of the United States is the peregrine falcon.

Reference

https://animalia.bio/peregrine-falcon

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