Living Organisms / Animalia / Craniata / Aves / Ciconiiformes / Falconidae / Falco / Species
Falco peregrinus - Peregrine falcon (Click photographs/illustrations: full picture & further details)
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INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL & REFERENCES

EXTERNAL APPEARANCES

REPRODUCTION

BEHAVIOUR

NATURAL DIET

RANGE & HABITAT

CONSERVATION

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General and References

Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Peregrine
  • Faucon pèlerin (French)
  • Wanderfalke (German)
  • Falco pellegrino (Italian)
  • Halcón común (Spanish)
  • Pilgrimsfalk (Swedish)
  • Slechtvalk (Dutch)

Names for newly-hatched

Chick

Names for non-breeding males or other colour-phases

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References

Species Author

Debra Bourne

Major References

B89, B104, B162, B163, B164, B165, B166

Aviculture references:

ORGANISATIONS
(UK Contacts)

ELECTRONIC LIBRARY
(Further Reading)
Click image for full contents list of ELECTRONIC LIBRARY

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TAXA Group (where information has been collated for an entire group on a modular basis)

Parent Group

  • Birds of prey

Specific Needs Group referenced in Management Techniques

  • Birds of prey

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Aviculture Information

Notes

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Individual Techniques linked in Wildpro

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External Appearance (Morphology)

Measurement & Weight

Length
  • 40-46cm (B165); 38-48cm/15-19 ins (B166).
  • Male: 38-45cm; Female: 46-51cm. (B164).
  • Wingspan: Male 89-100cm, Female 104-113cm (B164).
Adult weight General --

Male 582-750 (B104).
Female 925-1300 (B104).
Newly-hatched weight 31g one male,36g and 50g (two females) (B104).
Growth rate To 625g ( one male) and 915g (one female) in about four weeks; female to 950g in 42 days (B104).

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Head

Adult Bill Male Slate blue, shading to black at tip and to yellow at base; cere yellow; hooked (B104, B164, B165, B166).
Variations (If present) --
Eyes Male Dark brown with yellow skin (eye ring) surrounding (B104, B164).
Variations(If present) --
Juvenile Bill Duller yellow-green/blue-green/blue-grey (B104, B164, B165, B166).
Eyes (Iris) Dark brown (B104).

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Legs

Adult Male Yellow with black claws (B104, B164, B165, B166).
Variations (If present) --
Juvenile Duller yellow-green/blue-green/blue-grey (B104, B164, B165, B166)

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Plumage

Adult Male
  • Head: hood black, continuing in broad moustache, black down cheek, white; throat: white.
  • Upperparts: slate grey, with rump paler grey.
  • Ventral: upper breast white, lower breast and abdomen white with fine dark barring
  • Tail: slate grey, with tail coverts paler grey
  • Wings: broad based, long, pointed. Upper surface slate grey, under surface: white with narrow barring.

(B164, B165, B166)

Variations (If present) Female:
  • White areas may be more extensive (B164).

Falco peregrinus brookei (Mediterranean subspecies):

  • Upperparts darker, with nape rufous.
  • Underparts rufous tinged.

(B164)

Juvenile
  • Head: forehead may be white; may have supercilium pale
  • Upperparts: brownish.
  • Wings: greater coverts and primary feathers pale tipped
  • Ventral: breast and abdomen streaked not barred

(B164)

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Newly-hatched Characteristics

Semi-altricial; helpless, downy, fed by parents (B164, B163, B166).

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Reproduction

Reproductive Season

Time of year April-June (B166).
No. of Clutches One (B163, B166).

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Nest placement and structure

  • On cliff and crags, coastal and inland; sometimes buildings in cities.
  • Bare scrape, or occasionally using nests of other birds (crows, buzzards).
  • Sometimes in trees.
  • Rarely on ground on open bogs e.g. in north-eastern taiga.

(B163, B164, B165, B166).

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Egg clutches

No. of Eggs Average 3-4 (B163, B166).
Range 2-6 (B163).
Egg colour White or buff, with red/brown speckling; length 55mm (B163, B166).

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Incubation

28-29 days per egg (B163, B166).

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Hatching

Asynchronous (B163).

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Fledging

35-42 days (B163, B166).

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Sexual Maturity

Males Probably two years old (B104).
Females Probably two years old (B104).

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Behaviour

Feeding Behaviour

Adults Aerial stoop (B163, B166).
Newly-hatched Fed by parents (B163).

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Parental Behaviour

Nest-building No nest built (B163).
Incubation Mainly by female (B163, B166).
Newly-hatched Fed by both parents (B163).
Juveniles

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Social Behaviour

Intra-specific Solitary, territorial (B163, B166).
Inter-specific --

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Sexual Behaviour

Monogamous. Male feeds female on nest. (B163).

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Predation in Wild

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Activity Patterns

Spectacular flight displays in breeding territory (B162).
Circadian Diurnal.

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Natural Diet

Adults

Birds, including pigeons in urban areas (B163, B166).

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Newly-hatched

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Range and Habitat

Distribution and Movement (Migration etc.)

Normal Circumpolar (B164); cosmopolitan (B89).
  • In Britain: mainly northern and western, resident in coastal and hilly areas. (B164, B165, B166).

Movements:

  • Northern and eastern populations migrate to southern and western Europe.
  • Southern and western mountainous populations sedentary.
  • In Britain: wider distribution in winter, may be seen in e.g. estuarine habitats.

(B89, B163, B164, B165, B166)

Occasional and Accidental --
Introduced

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Habitat

  • Breeding: mountainous areas, lowland cliffs and open bogs of taiga.
  • Winter: more wide ranging.

(B163, B164, B165, B166)

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Conservation

Intraspecific variation

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Conservation Status

Wild Population -
(Importance)

Serious declines and local extinctions, now recovering (B163, B164).

General Legislation
  • This species is listed on Schedule 1 - Part I (Birds protected by special penalties: Notes on the revised schedules state "Birds protected by special penalties at all times") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
  • This species is listed on Schedule 4 (Birds which must be registered and ringed if kept in captivity: Notes on the revised schedules state "Any bird, one of whose parents or other lineal ancestor was a bird of a kind specified in the above list") of the LUK2 - Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of the United Kingdom. (W5.Oct01)
CITES listing Listing not yet included.
Red-data book listing Listing not yet included.
Threats Declines linked particularly to use of pesticides and persecution (B163, B164).

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Captive Populations

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Trade

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