Optics Mag is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Read more.

9 Incredible Peregrine Falcon Facts (with Pictures)

Last Updated on

peregrine falcon

The peregrine falcon is an amazing creature with many unique facts. In this guide, you will learn everything from its eating habits to how it got its name.

Peregrine falcons are one of the most widespread birds of prey in the world. They can be found on continents all over the planet. And because they’re such successful predators, they play an important role in the ecosystems they inhabit.

If you’re ready to learn more about these incredible creatures, read on for nine incredible peregrine falcon facts.

eagle divider

The 9 Peregrine Falcon Facts

1. Peregrine Falcons Are Fast

Peregrine falcons are the fastest flying birds in the world and can reach speeds of up to 200 mph when they are diving for prey. Thanks to their incredible speeds, peregrine falcons are able to capture their prey in mid-air and kill them before they even have a chance to escape.

Peregrine falcon flying

Image credit: Katiekk, Shutterstock


2. Peregrine Falcons Can Be Found All Over the World

Peregrine falcons are not just found in North America but can be found all over the world in habitats as diverse as the Arctic tundra and the tropics. In fact, there are thought to be more peregrine falcons living in cities than there are in the wild, thanks to their ability to adapt to urban environments.


3. Peregrine Falcons Aren’t Endangered

Peregrine falcons were once an endangered species due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss, pesticide poisoning, and hunting. However, thanks to conservation efforts, the peregrine falcon population rebounded.

As of 1999, this fascinating bird is no longer on the endangered list. If everyone can make an effort to restore and protect peregrine falcon habitat, we may be able to keep these birds and many others off the endangered list for good.

Peregrine Falcon

Image Credit: Capri23auto, Pixabay


4. Peregrine Falcons Are Skilled Hunters

Peregrine falcons are some of the most skilled hunters in the avian world and have been known to take down prey that is much larger than they are. In addition to their incredible speed, peregrine falcons also have razor-sharp talons that they use to kill their prey.


5. Peregrine Falcons Are Fascinating Birds

Aside from their hunting skills and incredible speeds, peregrine falcons are also fascinating birds because of their unusual mating habits. For example, male peregrine falcons will often give gifts to the females they are courting and will perform dramatic aerial displays in order to impress them.

A Peregrine Falcon

Image Credit: iulian_ursache, Pixabay


6. Peregrine Falcons Are an Important Part of the Ecosystem

Peregrine falcons play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to control the populations of other birds of prey. In addition, peregrine falcons are also a popular choice for falconry and have been used by humans for hunting for centuries.


7. Peregrine Falcons Are Powerful

In addition to being fast, peregrine falcons are also powerful flyers. Their wings are long and narrow, which gives them a lot of power when they are flying. Peregrine falcons use this power to help them hunt their prey.

Peregrine falcon sitting on branch

Image Credit: Harry Collins Photography, Shutterstock


8. Peregrine Falcons Have Keen Eyesight

Peregrine falcons have some of the best eyesight of any bird in the world. They can see their prey from far away and are able to track it as it moves. This keen eyesight is one of the reasons why peregrine falcons are such successful hunters.


9. Peregrine Falcons Mate for Life

Peregrine falcons are one of the few bird species that mate for life. Once they have found a mate, they will stay with that mate for the rest of their lives. This loyalty is one of the things that makes peregrine falcons such fascinating birds.

Image Credit: Harry Collins Photography, Shutterstock

eagle dividerFrequently Asked Questions

What is a peregrine falcon?

A peregrine falcon is a raptor, or predatory bird, that can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when diving for prey. Peregrines are found on every continent except Antarctica and range in size from about the same as a crow to nearly twice as large. The female peregrine is typically larger than the male.

What do peregrine falcons eat?

Peregrines hunt mostly other birds, such as pigeons, ducks, and songbirds. They will also eat small mammals, such as bats and rodents. Peregrines typically eat whatever they can catch and kill.

How do peregrine falcons hunt?

Peregrines use their speed and agility to dive down and strike their prey with their powerful talons. This hunting method, known as stooping, can be so fast and forceful that it often kills the peregrine’s prey instantly.

Peregrine Falcon Closeup

Image Credit: Pxhere

How can I tell if a bird is a peregrine falcon?

Peregrines have long, pointed wings and a long tail. They are typically blue-gray above and white below with barred sides and a blackish cap. Peregrines can also be all dark in coloration. Males and females look similar, but the female is usually larger than the male. Juveniles have browner plumage with more streaks and spots.

Where do peregrine falcons live?

Peregrines inhabit a wide range of habitat types, including tundra, forests, deserts, grasslands, and urban areas. In North America, they are most commonly found along coastlines and in mountains.

How long do peregrine falcons live?

Peregrines typically live between 10 and 15 years in the wild, but some individuals have been known to live up to 20 years.

Peregrine falcons

Image Credit: Harry Collins Photography, Shutterstock

Are peregrine falcons endangered?

No, peregrine falcons are no longer an endangered species. They were once very common, but due to pesticide use and hunting, their populations declined sharply in the mid-20th century.

Thanks to conservation efforts, peregrine numbers have rebounded, and they are no longer considered endangered in most of their range.

eagle divider

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this look into the life and times of the incredible peregrine falcon! These magnificent creatures are truly amazing, and we hope that this article has inspired you to learn more about them.

Keep in mind that while peregrine falcons are not currently endangered, they were once on the brink of extinction due to human activity. It is important to do our part to help protect these birds, and all wildlife, so that future generations can enjoy them as well.


Featured Image Credit: A Quinn, Pixabay

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.

Robert Sparks Profile Picture