Peregrine Falcon

STATUSLeast Concern


DIETShorebirds, waterfowl, pigeons, songbirds, geese, hummingbirds, reptiles, rodents, rabbits, and bats

RANGEEvery continent except for Antarctica

HABITATPrefer mountains, rivers, and coastlines, but have acclimated to cities, valleys, and deserts

Peregrine Falcon

Physical Description

Peregrine falcons have streamlined bodies with long, pointed wings. Adult falcons measure 14 to 23 inches in length with a wingspan ranging from 36 to 44 inches and typically weigh 1 to 3 and 1/2 pounds. They have slate-colored, barred plumage and creamy white chests, a sharp, pale blue beak, and bright yellow feet.


Predators can include other birds of prey.


In the wild, these falcons can live up to 15 years, while under human care they can live longer than 15.


Peregrine falcons form strong pair bonds. They stay paired indefinitely, though re-pairings do occur occasionally. They nest on cliffs in wild areas, and on building ledges or bridges in cities. An average of three to four eggs are incubated by both parents for 28 days, and hatchlings fledge after 25-42 days.

Fun Facts

  • Peregrine falcons can reach speeds up to 200 mph when diving for their prey. When hunting, peregrine falcons will soar high up into the air. Once a prey is spotted, the falcon will fold its wings in, and divebomb.
  • By the 1960’s, peregrine falcon numbers had declined severely in the eastern United States due to the accidental ingestion of the pesticide DDT. In 1970, the peregrine falcon was officially listed as endangered. The release of captive-raised young and the protection of nest sites led to them being removed from the federal Endangered Species list in 1999.

Conservation Messaging

Most of the Bird of Prey here at the zoo are all rehabilitated birds who have sustained different injuries deeming them unreleasable. These birds fall victim to debris found on the side of the road. If it’s an apple core, banana peel, or some discarded trash it will attract their prey items which will then attract the bird of prey. Birds of prey have tunnel vision when hunting and will often not see a car coming. One simple way we can help is to dispose of all your trash properly, even natural items like apple cores and banana peels.

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