Habitat & Range
Peregrine falcons can be found nearly everywhere on the globe, except for tropical rainforests, extreme polar regions, and very high mountains. Peregrine falcons prefer habitats such as mountain ranges, river valleys, and coastlines. They are increasingly seen in cities, nesting on the crevices of tall buildings and feeding on an abundant supply of pigeons.
There are 19 subspecies of peregrine falcons worldwide that vary according to region. They differ considerably in size and color. They have long, tapered wings and a slim, short tail. The bird typically measures between 15 and 20 inches long, and has a wingspan measuring between 38 and 46 inches long. Males weigh approximately 1.5 pounds and females weigh between 2 to 3 pounds.
Peregrine falcons prey almost exclusively on medium-sized birds, such as pigeons, ducks, kestrels, jays and crows. Prey is struck and captured in mid-air, with the falcon using its clenched foot to inflict a fatal blow. If the prey is too heavy to carry, the falcon will let the carcass drop to the ground and eat it there.
Reproduction & Lifespan
During courtship, males and females will hunt and roost together. They do not build their own nests; instead they look to occupy abandoned nests, tree hollows or shelves on high cliffs. Eggs are laid 2 to 4 at a time, between the months of March and June. The lifespan of a wild falcon lasts between 15 and 20 years.
Fantastic Fact Lightning Fast
Peregrine falcons are renowned for their speed. In its characteristic hunting dive, it has been known to reach speeds of up to 242 miles per hour, earning it the distinction of being the fastest member of the animal kingdom.
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