Our Beautiful World
© Arthur Grosset
The Peregrine Falcon is cosmopolitan and found around the world. It requires coastal or inland cliffs for breeding
but prefers open country for hunting. It feeds mainly on birds both small and medium-sized which it catches on the wing.
The Peregrine Falcon is extremely fast.
One of its distinguishing features is the broad moustachial stripe. In flight it looks "large-chested" with pointed wings,
broad-based "arms" and a medium-sized tail.
Peregrine falcon, Falco peregrinus
Photo: © Tom Holden
A large robust falcon with tapered tail and long, angular wings,
Adults have slate-grey upper parts with paler rump and delicately barred tail.
Peregrines swoop on their prey of pigeons, seabirds and grouse from height at
speeds of 150 - 250 Km/h!
©Georges Lignier Wikimedia
Adults are dark grey above and barred black on white below. The female is larger than the male.
© Lasse Olsson
There are many falcons on the Earth. The one we have in Northern Europe, migrates mostly
south to Spain and Italy during the winter. The Arctic one, has a much longer migration-route,
which is shown on the map below.
Movements of two male peregrine falcons radiotagged with PTTs on Padre Island, Texas,
during spring migration, 1995. Individuals are identified by different colored symbols;
Map and text from Argos Newsletter (www.argos-system.org)
Juvenile peregrine falcons: getting fed, leaving nest for first time,
being fed by their mother away from the nest, feeding on their first kill
BBC Natural History Unit
Peregrine falcons hunting: catching a grouse, missing a crested auklet, then eating ptarmigan
BBC Natural History Unit
We are in the process of learning. And instead of our local Peregrine falcon, we now know about at least
19 different species, spread all over the world.
The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics.
It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests;
the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand.
This fact makes it the world's most widespread bird of prey. Both the English and scientific names of this species
mean "wandering falcon", referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations.
Map and text from Wikipedia
This map and text is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
See also http://www.vulkaner.no/t/kamchatka/birds.html#peregrine