Falco peregrinus anatum
(Peregrine Falcon)

Order: Falconiformes
Order Description: Vultures, Osprey, Hawks, Falcons
Family: Falconidae
Family Description: Falcons

Physical Description:
15-21" (38-53 cm). Dark gray back; white eyebrow; white cheeks with dark "sideburns"; white neck; white and gray scaling below. Typical falcon wings are pointed; narrow tail. Immatures are brown instead of gray.

Similar Species- Gyrfalcon, Prairie Falcon, Merlin

A loud, shrill, coarse kek-kek-kek-kek-kek-kek.

Nearly cosmopolitan; breeds on every continent except Antarctica.

Found in various open situations from tundra, moorland, steppes, and seacoasts (especially where there are suitable nesting cliffs), to mountains, open forested regions, and populated areas. In Idaho, former and current nest sites are located in both mountain and desert regions, and are generally associated with bodies of water.

Feeds primarily on birds (medium-size passerines up to small waterfowl), but will also eat (rarely or locally) small mammals, lizards, fish, and insects (eaten by young birds). In Idaho, diet consists almost entirely of birds.

Nests on cliff or building May hunt anytime during day, but usually hunts in morning or evening. Initiates prey pursuit from perch or while soaring. May hunt up to several km from nest site. Great- horned Owl is serious nest predator in U.S. (in Idaho, Golden Eagles are also predators). Severe weather may result in high mortalityClick word for definition in northern range. Since 1982, 288 captive- reared young have been released in Idaho. The first re-establishing pair of peregrines was discovered in 1985. As of 1995, 13 pairs of peregrines occupied territories in Idaho. In 1995, 6 occupied territories in Idaho successfully fledged an average of 2.7 young/pr.

clutchClick word for definition size averages 4 eggs at mid-latitudes, 3 in far north. Female incubatesClick word for definition eggs for 32-35 days; male brings food. clutchClick word for definition is often replaced if lost, usually at an alternate site (broodClick word for definition losses are apparently caused mainly by bad weather). Young fledgeClick word for definition at 39-49 days, gradually become independent, and breed at 2-3 yr (occasionally as yearlingsClick word for definition). Adults form life-long pair bond.

Element Code: ABNKD06071
U.S. ESA Status: E(S/)
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S1,NTMB
National Rank: N4B,N4N

Important State References:
Levine, E., W. Melquist, and J. Beals. 1995. Idaho peregrine falcon survey, nest monitoring, and release program, 1995. Idaho Dept. Fish & Game, Boise 25pp.

Photo by Peter S. Weber,© 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.
Written by Jason Karl, 2000.