Ed Golson Outdoor Education

Peregrine Falcon

Scientific Name: Falco peregrinus

Description:  Sometimes called the duck hawk, this species is an endangered species of Michigan. Peregrine Falcons became an endangered species in the U.S. due in part to the widespread use of the pesticide DDT, which interfered with the egg shell formation.  The fragile egg shells would break during incubation. In 1972, the use of DDT was banned for use in the U.S.  The American peregrine falcon can grow as large as 19 inches, with a wingspan of 36-44 inches.  These falcons have brown or slate-gray backs and off-white breasts.  This falcon has been clocked at speeds up to 220 mph when diving to attack their prey- now that's fast!

Habitat:  These birds are found over most of North America. There are a few places on the east coast, where these birds have become extinct .  Loss of valu able habitat is also a contributing factor to the decline of this birds' population.  Living areas of choice include areas by water that are up on high rocky cliffs.  Nesting falcons typically hatch two to three chicks per year.  Reintroduction Programs have had some success with new nesting pairs and healthy chicks.  

Feeding:  These birds are carnivorous birds of prey .  They prey on waterfowl like ducks and other shorebirds.  They have talons on their feet so that when they swoop down from the sky to grab another bird, the prey is penetrated and killed almost instantly. 

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