The peregrine falcon (Falconidae) is admired for its spectacular diving attacks at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. They are so quick in the air that they could even get hold of the most acrobatic birds. Unique among falcon’s behavior is that it hunts other birds in the air.
What Do Peregrine Falcons Eat
Peregrine falcons will strike birds with the devastating impact as birds make much of the falcon’s diet. Falcons that live in the coastal regions are known to feed on seabirds.
The peregrine falcon’s diet includes 95% of medium-sized birds such as songbirds, pigeons, waders, doves, and waterfowl.
According to a rough estimate, falcons eat around 1,500 to 2,000 different bird species worldwide.
The prey can be as small as hummingbirds (weighing only 3 grams) to as large as sandhill crane (weighs up to 3.1 kg). However peregrine falcons prey on birds that weigh up to 20 grams such as small passerines.
Falcons will consume around 100 shorebirds which is the most birds predated by any bird in the North America. They also feed on owls and hawks including sharp-shinned hawks, American kestrel, merlin, feral pigeons, and rock pigeons.
Dig Deeper: Peregrine Falcon Facts For Kids
Here is a list of birds that peregrine falcons feed regularly;
- Common wood pigeons
- Mourning doves
- Common swifts
- Northern flickers
- Common starlings
- American robins
- American crows
- House crows
- Common blackbirds
- Scarlet ibis
- Yellow-billed cuckoo
- Black-necked grebe
- Virginia rail
- Common quail
- Water Rail
- Little Tachybaptus ruficollis
- Corn Crake
- Common Snipe
- Jack Snipe
- Barn Swallow
- Tree Pipit
- Turtle Dove
- Northern Wheatear
- Common Swifts
- Fork-tailed Storm-petrels
- Leach’s Storm-petrels
- Cassin’s Auklets
- Eurasian Teals
- Noctule bats
- Ruddy duck
- Black-headed Gull
- Common Redshank
- Sky Lark
Read More: What Eats Peregrine Falcons?
The bird also preys on small mammals such as;
The most dramatic of all falcon’s attack is the way it takes on the resting bird on the treetops.
Read More: What does a Peregrine Falcon Look Like?
Falcons living in the mangrove swamp, are more apt to feed on scarlet ibis. They supplement their diet with some insects and reptiles such as lizards, grasshoppers, dragonflies, and rodents. The dawn and the dusk are the peak timings when falcons come out to hunt.
Falcons are able to carry prey which is even heavier than itself but only for short distances. In the Caribbean, they will hunt Rock Doves, ducks, and shorebirds. The diet also includes fruit pigeons and boobies.
Read More: How Does a Peregrine Falcon Fly?
Peregrine falcons fly extremely high and at that height they spot the prey with precision. Moments later, the bird will scoop down and once it starts diving it never changes its direction for it can’t. Thus it is quite reasonable to assume that most falcons’ dives end up failure.
They are thought to soar or glide while searching some low-flying birds far below.