Florida Birding Peregrine Falcons in Florida

Peregrine Falcon
Facts and Information

A Migrating Favorite






Florida Everglades


Peregrine Falcon Facts

The peregrine falcon, similar in size to the Cooper's hawk, has heavy stripes on its sides, a black to slate-blue coloration on its back and barred wing and tail feathers. Its head, smaller than that of a hawk, has a black cap.

Once fairly common, this magnificent falcon began disappearing in the 1930s when their eggs were decimated by egg collectors who pillaged their nests in the remote breeding cliffs in the northeast. Pesticides used following World War II affected the thickness of the bird's egg shells, which became so thin that they broke when a parent tried to incubate them.

The peregrine does not soar or glide in the air currents like many other migrating species. Instead, it relies on its own wing power to achieve the heights where it is able to survey the sky and land below.

It will circle for a short period, then quickly wing to another survey station waiting for small ducks, starlings, pigeons and other game birds of a similar size to come into the open.

What made the peregrine so suitable for falconry is that these falcons preferred to seize other birds that were still in flight, instead of waiting for them to land. A peregrine falcon will circle at a very high altitude. Once its prey is located, the falcon closes its wings and crash-dives into it.

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