California Raptor Center

Peregrine Falcon

Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus
(Falco is Latin for falcon, peregrinus is Latin for ‘wandering’) formerly called Duck Hawk for its prey.   

Size: Length: 14-18in Wingspan: 37-46in        

Weight: Female: 719-952g (~1.9-2.9lb) Male: 453-685g (~0.99-1.5lb)

Lifespan: Their expected lifespan in the wild is 2 to 8 years, and in captivity it is around 18 to 20 years.

ID: The Peregrine Falcon is a large dark falcon. It has a dark helmet with one, wide, dark mustache mark. Both adults and juveniles have dark backs and wings, and white undersides almost completely covered with dark spots.

Hunting: Peregrine Falcons prefer to hunt on the wing. They can do spectacular dives at tremendous speeds, surpassing 200 miles an hour.

Prey: They almost exclusively eat birds.

Breeding: Like the other falcons, Peregrine Falcons do not build their own nests but rely on cliff and other cavities to nest in. They have been very successful in adapting to manmade structures for their nesting sites. Clutches are 3 to 4 eggs in size, which hatch after an average of 34 days. The chicks fledge after 5 to 6 weeks.

Range: Peregrine Falcons are distributed worldwide and are partial migrators.

Status: Peregrine Falcons have been down listed from the Federal Endangered status but are still closely monitored. The state of California still lists them as endangered.