All About the Peregrine Falcon

What's the fastest animal on earth? Cheetahs? Gazelles? Nope...

by
posted on November 18, 2015
peregrine-falcon-credit-us-fish-wildlife-svc.jpg

Graceful and agile, the peregrine falcon is a bird of prey known for both its swift speed and fierce hunting ability. Considered one of the fastest creatures on earth, the peregrine falcon can achieve speeds up to 200 miles per hour. The falcon’s diet includes waterfowl, pheasants and other small birds. 

The peregrine does not build a nest, and instead dwells in hollows and crevices on the faces of cliffs. In urban areas, falcons make their homes on the edges of tall high-rise buildings. City-dwelling peregrines sustain their diet with pigeons and starlings. The peregrine falcon mates for life, and its chicks are born with white fluffy feathers. As the baby chick grows, it sheds the white fluff and pinfeathers sprout, which eventually grow into long beautiful plumage of various colors. The peregrine’s feet have strong talons that it uses to capture its prey in mid-flight while swooping down out of the air. In fact, falcons are such strong hunters that humans have used them as hunting companions for over two thousand years. This sport is known as falconry. 

For many years, the peregrine was listed as endangered, but was removed from the United States’ endangered species list in 1999.

 Fast Facts:

  • Ancient Egyptians worshipped the falcon as a sacred animal.
  • Though similar in markings, the male peregrine falcon is much smaller than the female.
  • Baby chicks are born with a little hook on their beaks, which helps them chip through their tough shell when hatching.
  • Humans have done much to protect the peregrine falcon through “captive breeding” programs.

Latest

Eastern Hognose Snake Public Domain
Eastern Hognose Snake Public Domain

Fun Friday: Eastern Hognose Snake, the "Counterfeit Cobra"

Trigger warning: This article highlights a snake in Arkansas whose theatrical performance may cause your heart skip a beat.

Silencer Central Wins 2 NRA Publications Golden Bullseye Awards

"Receiving the Golden Bullseye Pioneer Award and having our Speed K suppressor named Suppressor of the Year is a tremendous honor,” said Maddox.

The .44 Magnum: A Love Story

Here's why I'm still dancin' with the one that brung me.

NRA Family Reading: Boone & Crockett's 15th Edition Records of North American Big Game

It's not just beautiful pictures of world-record animals ... although that's definitely a draw!

How to Train for Handgun Hunting

Here's what to do before you bust out the big-bore, long-barrel revolvers.

First Impressions: Camp Chef Gridiron 36 Flat-Top Grill

Think all griddles are the same? Think again.

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.