Dec 132012
 
(Falco peregrines)  Peregrine Falcons can fly as many as 15,500 miles per year.  Peregrines hunt from above, and after sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive that can top 200 miles an hour. They are the fastest bird on the face of the earth! What does the Peregrine Falcon eat? The Peregrine Falcon is a carnivore.  Peregrines chiefly hunt birds such as starlings, pigeons, blackbirds, jays, shorebirds, and waterfowl, but will rarely take mammals, reptiles, or insects. Peregrines may use a variety of hunting techniques, but typically prey is captured in the air after a fast pursuit or a rapid dive to catch the prey.   How long do they live? Up to 17 years in the wild   How many peregrine falcons can be born at a time? Peregrines lay 3 - 4 eggs   Where are they found? Peregrine falcons are among the world's most widely spread birds of prey and live on all continents except Antarctica.  

Interesting facts:

  • The Peregrine Falcon has a body length of 15 - 20 inches, a 3 1/2 foot wingspan, and weighs 1 1/4 - 2 3/4 pounds.
  • They can fly as many as 15,500 miles per year.
  • Once an endangered species in the United States, North American peregrine falcon populations have made a great comeback due to bans on usage of DDT and similar pesticides.
  • Peregrines hunt from above, and after sighting their prey, drop into a steep, swift dive that can top 200 miles an hour. They are the fastest bird on the face of the earth!
  • Peregrines are favored by falconers, and have been used in that sport for many centuries.
 

Peregrine Falcons at the Zoo

Isis – Came to live with us in 2001.  She came from a falconer who was working with the Peregrine breeding program. When she hatched from her egg, there was a problem and she ended up losing a wing. She did not have the balance to continue in the breeding program, it would have been too hard for her. They brought her to our facility and we used her in educational programs for quite a while to help people understand the impact pesticides can have on the environment. She had a lot she wanted to say as she was always quite vocal during the presentations.