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Peregrine Falcon

About Peregrine Falcon

This bird is a powerfully built falcon with long, pointed wings, tapering tail, and feathered legs. Dark grayish-blue above, with whitish to reddish-buff underparts heavily barred with black; has a dark mustache which extends around the eye; has a white chin and cheeks. Legs, bill-base, and bare skin around the eye yellow; bill dark gray. The male is darker than the female.

This falcon breeds in the spring and summer. Their nests are an unlined hollow on a cliff ledge, a high crag, or a tall building. They have 2-6 creamy or buff eggs, marked with chestnut or red, gray, and purple,incubated by both parents for 31-38 days.

This falcon is the fastest and most spectacular of all the falcons. It is big and powerful, especially the female. It is strong enough to kill a bird as big as a duck or curlew, but most of their prey is the size of a pigeon or crow. It patrols high in the air or from a high point, and when it sees suitable prey, it will plunge from the sky on half-closed wings at speeds up to 100 miles per hour (160km/h) and sometimes more. It tears its victim apart with its hook-like rear talons, often killing it on impact, it will then follow it down as it falls out of the sky. If its catch is still alive, the falcon will sever its spinal cord with its bill.

The peregrine pairs perform beautiful aerial courtship displays. They typically breed in remote wildrerness. Some pairs will nest on tall chimmeys and high rise buildings, some even in city centers.

The peregrine falcon has superb eyesight and can spot its prey from a long distance. Its eyesight magnifies the image like a pair of binoculars and has extra-fine definition.