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Peregrine Falcon
Adult of subspecies pealei or tundrius, Alaska
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. peregrinus
Binomial name
Falco peregrinus
Tunstall, 1771
Subspecies

17-19, see text

Global range
Yellow: Breeding summer visitor
Green: Breeding resident
Blue: Winter visitor
Light blue: Passage visitor
Synonyms

Falco atriceps Hume
Falco kreyenborgi Kleinschmidt, 1929
Falco pelegrinoides madens Ripley & Watson, 1963
Rhynchodon peregrinus (Tunstall, 1771)
and see text

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the Peregrine,[2] and historically as the "Duck Hawk" in North America,[3] is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It is a large, crow-sized falcon, with a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". It can reach speeds over 320 km/h (200 mph) in a stoop,[4] making it the fastest creature on the planet.[5] As is common with bird-eating raptors, the female is much bigger than the male.[6][7] Experts recognize 17–19 subspecies, which vary in appearance and range; there is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is a subspecies or a distinct species.

The Peregrine's breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world's most widespread bird of prey.[8] Both the English and scientific names of this species mean "wandering falcon", referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations.

While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles or even insects. It reaches sexual maturity at one year, and mates for life. It nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures.[9] The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the beginning of the 1970s onwards, the populations recovered, supported by large scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.[10]

Contents

Description

The Peregrine Falcon has a body length of 34 to 58 centimetres (13–23 in) and a wingspan of around 80 to 120 centimetres (31–47 in).[6][11] The male and female have similar markings and plumage, but as in many birds of prey the Peregrine Falcon displays marked reverse sexual dimorphism in size, with the female measuring up to 30 percent larger than the male.[12] Males weigh 440–750 g, and the noticeably larger females weigh 910–1500 g; for variation in weight between subspecies, see under that section below.

The back and long, pointed wings of the adult are usually bluish black to slate gray with indistinct darker barring (see "Subspecies" below); the wingtips are black.[11] The underparts are white to rusty and barred with thin clean bands of dark brown or black.[13] The tail, colored like the back but with thin clean bars, is long, narrow and rounded at the end with a black tip and a white band at the very end. The top of the head and a "mustache" along the cheeks are black, contrasting sharply with the pale sides of the neck and white throat.[14] The cere is yellow, as are the feet, and the beak and claws are black.[15] The upper beak is notched near the tip, an adaptation which enables falcons to kill prey by severing the spinal column at the neck.[4][6][7] The immature bird is much browner with streaked, rather than barred, underparts, and has a pale bluish cere.[6][14]

Taxonomy and systematics

F. p. anatum in flight, Morro Bay, California

This species was first described by Marmaduke Tunstall in his 1771 Ornithologia Britannica under its current binomial name.[16] The scientific name Falco peregrinus, means "wandering falcon" in Latin.[17] Indeed, the species' common name refers to its wide-ranging flights in most European languages.[18] The Latin term for falcon, falco, is related to falx, the Latin word meaning sickle, in reference to the silhouette of the falcon's long, pointed wings in flight.[4]

The Peregrine Falcon belongs to a genus whose lineage includes the hierofalcons[19] and the Prairie Falcon (F. mexicanus). This lineage probably diverged from other falcons towards the end of the Late Miocene or in the Early Pliocene, about 8–5 million years ago (mya). As the Peregrine-hierofalcon group includes both Old World and North American species, it is likely that the lineage originated in western Eurasia or Africa. Its relationship to other falcons is not clear; the issue is complicated by widespread hybridization confounding mtDNA sequence analyses; for example a genetic lineage of the Saker Falcon (F. cherrug) is known[20] which originated from a male Saker producing fertile young with a female Peregrine ancestor some 100,000 years ago.[ref]

Today, Peregrines are regularly hybridized in captivity with other species such as the Lanner Falcon (F. biarmicus) to produce the "perilanner", a somewhat popular bird in falconry as it combines the Peregrine's hunting skill with the Lanner's hardiness, or the Gyrfalcon to produce large, strikingly colored birds for the use of falconers. As can be seen, the Peregrine is still genetically close to the hierofalcons, though their lineages diverged in the Late Pliocene (maybe some 2.5–2 mya in the Gelasian).[21]

Subspecies

Breeding ranges of the subspecies

Numerous subspecies of the Peregrine have been described, with 19 accepted by the Handbook of the Birds of the World.[6][7][22]

  • Falco peregrinus peregrinus, the nominate subspecies, described by Tunstall in 1771, breeds over much of temperate Eurasia between the tundra in the north and the Pyrenees, Mediterranean region and Alpide belt in the south.[23] It is mainly non-migratory in Europe, but migratory in Scandinavia and Asia. Males weigh 580–750 g, while females weigh 925–1,300 g.[7] It includes brevirostris, germanicus, rhenanus, and riphaeus.
  • Falco peregrinus calidus, described by John Latham in 1790, was formerly called leucogenys and includes caeruleiceps. It breeds in the Arctic tundra of Eurasia, from Murmansk Oblast to roughly Yana and Indigirka Rivers, Siberia. It is completely migratory, and travels south in winter as far as sub-Saharan Africa. It is paler than peregrinus, especially on the crown. Males weigh 588–740 g, while females weigh 925–1,333 g.[7]
  • Falco peregrinus japonensis, described by Gmelin in 1788, includes kleinschmidti and pleskei, and harterti seems to refer to intergrades with calidus. It is found from northeast Siberia to Kamchatka (though it is possibly replaced by pealei on coast there), and Japan. Northern populations are migratory, while those of Japan are resident. It is similar to peregrinus, but the young are even darker than those of anatum.
Australian race F. p. macropus
  • Falco peregrinus macropus, described by Swainson in 1837 is the Australian Peregrine Falcon. It is found in Australia in all regions except the southwest. It is non-migratory. It is similar to brookei in appearance, but is slightly smaller and the ear region is entirely black. The feet are proportionally large.[13]
  • Falco peregrinus submelanogenys described by Mathews in 1912, is the Southwest Australian Peregrine Falcon. It is found in southwest Australia and is non-migratory.
  • Falco peregrinus peregrinator, described by Sundevall in 1837, is known as the Indian Peregrine Falcon, Black Shaheen, or Indian Shaheen.[24] It was formerly sometimes known as Falco atriceps or Falco shaheen. Its range includes South Asia from Pakistan across India to Sri Lanka and Southeastern China; in Pakistan it is a military symbol of the Pakistan Air Force. It is non-migratory. It is small and dark, with rufous underparts barred with lighter color. In Sri Lanka this species is found to favour the higher hills while the migrant calidus is more often seen along the coast.[25] A population estimate of 40 breeding pairs in Sri Lanka was made in 1996.[26]
  • Falco peregrinus anatum, described by Bonaparte in 1838,[23] is known as the American Peregrine Falcon, or "Duck Hawk"; its scientific name means "Duck Peregrine Falcon". At one time, it was partly included in leucogenys. It is mainly found in the Rocky Mountains today. It was formerly common throughout North America between the tundra and northern Mexico, where current reintroduction efforts seek to restore the population.[23] Most mature anatum, except those that breed in more northern areas, winter in their breeding range. Most vagrants that reach western Europe seem to belong to the more northern and strongly migratory tundrius, only considered distinct since 1968. It is similar to peregrinus but is slightly smaller; adults are somewhat paler and less patterned below, but juveniles are darker and more patterned below. Males weigh 500–570 g, while females weigh 900–960 g.[6][27]
  • Falco peregrinus cassini, described by Sharpe in 1873, is also known as the Austral Peregrine Falcon. It includes kreyenborgi, the Pallid Falcon[28] a leucistic morph occurring in southernmost South America, which was long believed to be a distinct species.[29] Its range includes South America from Ecuador through Bolivia, northern Argentina and Chile to Tierra del Fuego and Falkland Islands.[13] It is non-migratory. It is similar to nominate, but slightly smaller with a black ear region. The variation kreyenborgi is medium grey above, has little barring below, and has a head pattern like the Saker Falcon, but the ear region is white.[29]
A captive bird of the subspecies pealei
  • Falco peregrinus tundrius, described by C.M. White in 1968, was at one time included in leucogenys It is found in the Arctic tundra of North America to Greenland. It migrates to wintering grounds in Central and South America.[31] Most vagrants that reach western Europe belong to this subspecies, which was previously united with anatum. It is the New World equivalent to calidus. It is smaller than anatum. It is also paler than anatum; most have a conspicuous white forehead and white in ear region, but the crown and "moustache" are very dark, unlike in calidus.[31] Juveniles are browner, and less grey, than in calidus, and paler, sometimes almost sandy, than in anatum.
  • Falco peregrinus madens, described by Ripley and Watson in 1963, is unusual in having some sexual dichromatism. If the Barbary Falcon (see below) is considered a distinct species, it is sometimes placed therein. It is found in the Cape Verde Islands, and is non-migratory;[13] it is endangered with only six to eight pairs surviving.[6] Males have a rufous wash on crown, nape, ears and back; underside conspicuously washed pinkish-brown. Females are tinged rich brown overall, especially on the crown and nape.[13]
  • Falco peregrinus minor was first described by Bonaparte in 1850. It was formerly often perconfusus.[32] It is sparsely and patchily distributed throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa and widespread in Southern Africa. It apparently reaches north along the Atlantic coast as far as Morocco. It is non-migratory, and small and dark.
  • Falco peregrinus brookei, described by Sharpe in 1873, is also known as the Mediterranean Peregrine Falcon or the Maltese Falcon.[33] It includes caucasicus and most specimens of the proposed race punicus, though others may be pelegrinoides, Barbary Falcons (see also below), or perhaps the rare hybrids between these two which might occur around Algeria. They occur from the Iberian Peninsula around the Mediterranean, except in arid regions, to the Caucasus. They are non-migratory. It is smaller than the nominate subspecies, and the underside usually has rusty hue.[13] Males weigh around 445 g, while females weigh up to 920 g.[7]
Painting of subspecies babylonicus by John Gould
  • Falco peregrinus ernesti, described by Sharpe in 1894, is found from Indonesia to Philippines and south to Papua New Guinea and Bismarck Archipelago. Its geographical separation from nesiotes requires confirmation. It is non-migratory. It differs from the nominate in the very dark, dense barring on its underside and its black ear coverts.
  • Falco peregrinus furuitii, described by Momiyama in 1927, is found on the Izu and Ogasawara Islands. It is non-migratory. It is very rare, and may only remain on a single island.[6] It is a dark form, resembling pealei in color, but darker, especially on tail.[13]
  • Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides, first described by Temminck in 1829, is found in the Canary Islands through north Africa and the Near East to Mesopotamia. It is most similar to brookei, but is markedly paler above, with a rusty neck, and is a light buff with reduced barring below. It is smaller than the nominate subspecies; females weigh around 610 g.[7]
  • Falco peregrinus babylonicus described by P.L. Sclater in 1861, is found in eastern Iran along the Hindu Kush and Tian Shan to Mongolian Altai ranges. It is paler than pelegrinoides, and somewhat similar to a small, pale Lanner Falcon. It is smaller than Peregrine Falcon; males weigh 330–400 g, while females weigh 513–765 g.[7]

These last two races are often split as Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides.[7] There is a 0.6–0.7% genetic distance in the Peregine-Barbary Falcon ("peregrinoid") complex.[36] These birds inhabit arid regions from the Canary Islands along the rim of the Sahara through the Middle East to Central Asia and Mongolia. They have a red neck patch but otherwise differ in appearance from the Peregrine proper merely according to Gloger's Rule.[37] The Barbary Falcon has a peculiar way of flying, beating only the outer part of its wings like fulmars sometimes do; this also occurs in the Peregrine, but less often and far less pronounced.[7] The Barbary Falcon's shoulder and pelvis bones are stout by comparison with the Peregrine, and its feet are smaller.[38] They have no postzygotic reproduction barriers in place,[39] but they breed at different times of year than neighboring Peregrine Falcon subspecies.[7][22][36][40][41][42][43]

Ecology and behavior

Silhouettes in normal flight (left) and at the start of a stoop

The Peregrine Falcon lives mostly along mountain ranges, river valleys, coastlines, and increasingly in cities.[13] In mild-winter regions, it is usually a permanent resident, and some individuals, especially adult males, will remain on the breeding territory. Only populations that breed in Arctic climes typically migrate great distances during the northern winter.[44] The Peregrine Falcon is often stated to be the fastest animal on the planet in its hunting dive, the stoop,[5] which involves soaring to a great height and then diving steeply at speeds commonly said to be over 320 km/h (199 mph), and hitting one wing of its prey so as not to harm itself on impact.[4] A study testing the flight physics of an 'ideal falcon' found a theoretical speed limit at 400 km/h (250 mph) for low altitude flight and 625 km/h (390 mph) for high altitude flight.[45] In 2005, Ken Franklin recorded a falcon stooping at a top speed of 389 km/h (242 mph).[46]

The life span in the wild is up to 15.5 years.[7] Mortality in the first year is between 59–70%, declining to between 25–32% in adults.[7] Apart from anthropogenic threats like collision with human-made objects, the Peregrine may be killed by large eagles or large owls.[27] The Peregrine Falcon is host to a range of parasites and pathogens. It is a vector for Avipoxvirus, Newcastle disease virus, Falconid herpesvirus 1 (and possibly other Herpesviridae), and some mycoses and bacterial infections. Endoparasites include Plasmodium relictum (usually not causing malaria in the Peregrine Falcon), Strigeidae trematodes, Serratospiculum amaculata (nematode), and tapeworms. Known Peregrine Falcon ectoparasites are chewing lice[47] Ceratophyllus garei (a flea), and Hippoboscidae flies (Icosta nigra, Ornithoctona erythrocephala).[48]

Feeding

Immature using a USFWS ship as a perch on which to eat its prey.

The Peregrine Falcon feeds almost exclusively on medium sized birds such as doves, waterfowl, songbirds, waders and pigeons.[15] Worldwide, it is estimated that between 1,500 and 2,000 bird species (up to roughly a fifth of the world's bird species) are predated by these falcons. In North America, prey has varied in size from 3-g hummingbirds to a 3.1-kg Sandhill Crane (killed by a peregrine in a swoop).[49] Other than bats taken at night,[50] it rarely hunts small mammals, but will on occasion take rats, voles, hares, mice and squirrels; the coastal populations of the large subspecies pealei feed almost exclusively on seabirds.[14] In the Brazilian mangrove swamp of Cubatão, a wintering falcon of the subspecies tundrius was observed while successfully hunting a juvenile Scarlet Ibis.[51] Insects and reptiles make up a small proportion of the diet, which varies greatly depending on what prey is available.[15] In urban areas, the main item of the Peregrine's diet is the Rock or Feral Pigeon, which comprise 80% or more of the dietary intake for peregrines in some cities. Other common city birds are also taken regularly, such as Mourning Doves, Common Swifts, Northern Flickers, Common Starlings, American Robins and various corvids.[50]

The Peregrine Falcon hunts at dawn and dusk, when prey are most active, but in cities also nocturnally, particularly during migration periods when hunting at night may become prevalent. Nocturnal migrants taken by Peregrines include species as diverse as Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-necked Grebe, Virginia Rail and Common Quail.[50] It requires open space in order to hunt, and therefore often hunts over open water, marshes, valleys, fields and tundra. It searches for prey either from a high perch or from the air.[52] Once prey is spotted, it begins its stoop, folding back the tail and wings, with feet tucked.[14] The air pressure from a 200 mph (320 km/h) dive could possibly damage a bird's lungs, but small bony tubercles in a falcon's nostrils guide the shock waves of the air entering the nostrils (compare intake ramps and inlet cones of jet engines), enabling the bird to breathe more easily while diving by reducing the change in air pressure.[53] To protect their eyes, the falcons use their nictitating membranes (third eyelids) to spread tears and clear debris from their eyes while maintaining vision. Prey is struck and captured in mid-air; the Peregrine Falcon strikes its prey with a clenched foot, stunning or killing it, then turns to catch it in mid-air.[52] The Peregrine will drop it to the ground and eat it there if it is too heavy to carry. Prey is plucked before consumption.[53]

Reproduction

At nest, France

The Peregrine Falcon is sexually mature at the end of the first year of age but in healthy populations they breed after two to three years of age. The pair mates for life and returns to the same nesting spot annually. The courtship flight includes a mix of aerial acrobatics, precise spirals, and steep dives.[11] The male passes prey it has caught to the female in mid-air. To make this possible, the female actually flies upside-down to receive the food from the male's talons. The Peregrine Falcon is territorial during the breeding season; nesting pairs are usually more than 1 km (0.6 miles) apart, and often much farther, even in areas with large numbers of pairs.[54] The distance between nests ensures sufficient food supply for pairs and their chicks. Within a breeding territory, a pair may have several nesting ledges; the number used by a pair can vary from one or two to seven in a 16 year period. The pair defends the chosen nest site against other Peregrines, and often against ravens, herons, gulls and (in ground nest) mammals like foxes, wolverines, felids, bears and wolves.[54] Both nests and (less frequently) adults are predated by larger-bodied raptorial birds like eagles, large owls, or Gyrfalcons. Peregrines defending their nests have managed to kill raptors as large as Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles (which they normally avoid) that have come close to the nest.[55]

The Peregrine Falcon nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, today regularly in many parts of its range, on tall buildings or bridges. Cliff nests are generally located under an overhang, on ledges with vegetation, and south-facing sites are favored.[14] In some regions, as in parts of Australia and on the west coast of Northern North-America, large tree hollows are used for nesting. Before the demise of most European peregrines, there was a large population of peregrines in central and western Europe using the disused nests of other large birds.[15] The female chooses a nest site, where she scrapes a shallow hollow in the loose soil, sand, gravel, or dead vegetation in which to lay eggs. No nest materials are added.[11] In remote, undisturbed areas such as the Arctic, steep slopes and even low rocks and mounds may be used as nest sites. The human-made structures used for breeding closely resemble the natural cliff ledges that the Peregrine prefers for its nesting locations.[6][54]

Chick

Mostly three to four eggs (range 1-5) are laid in the scrape.[56] The eggs are white to buff with red or brown markings.[56] They are incubated for 29 to 33 days, mainly by the female.[14] The male also helps with the incubation of the eggs over day, but at night only the female incubates. The date of egg-laying varies according to locality, but is generally from February to March in the Northern Hemisphere, and from July to August in the Southern Hemisphere (the Australian subspecies macropus may breed as late as November and equatorial populations may nest anytime between June and December). The female generally lays another clutch if the eggs are lost early in the nesting season, though this is extremely rare in the Arctic owing to the short summer season. As a result of some infertile eggs and natural losses of nestlings, the average number of young found in nests is 2.5, and the average number that fledges is about 1.5.[6][27][53]

After hatching, the eyases[57], or chicks, are covered with creamy-white down and have disproportionately large feet.[54] The male, which is called the "tiercel", brings food to the female and chicks, but the chicks are fed by the female, which stays at the nest and watches the young.[53] The hunting territory of the parents can extend a radius of 19 to 24 km (12–15 miles) from the nest site.[58] Chicks fledge 42 to 46 days after hatching, and remain dependent on their parents for up to two months.[59]

Relationship with humans

Pesticides

The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species because of the use of pesticides, especially DDT during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.[60] Pesticide biomagnification caused organochlorine to build up in the falcons' fat tissues, reducing the amount of calcium in their eggshells. With thinner shells, fewer falcon eggs survived to hatching.[52][61] In several parts of the world, such as the eastern USA and Belgium, this species became extinct as a result.[59]

Illegal collectors

Peregrine eggs and chicks are often targeted by black marketeers[62] and unscrupulous egg collectors, so it is normal practice not to publicize unprotected nest locations.[63]

Falconry

The Peregrine Falcon was used in falconry for more than 3,000 years, beginning with nomads in central Asia.[54] Due to its ability to dive at high speeds, it was highly sought-after and generally used by experienced falconers.[12] Peregrine Falcons are also occasionally used to scare away birds at airports to reduce the risk of bird-plane strikes, improving air-traffic safety,[64] and were used to intercept homing pigeons during World War II.[65]

Recovery efforts

In the USA, Canada, Germany and Poland, Wildlife services in Peregrine Falcon recovery teams breed the species in captivity.[66] The chicks are usually fed through a chute or with a hand puppet mimicking a Peregrine's head, so they cannot see to imprint on the human trainers.[44] Then, when they are old enough, the rearing box is opened, allowing the bird to train its wings. As the fledgling gets stronger, feeding is reduced forcing the bird to learn to hunt. This procedure is called hacking back to the wild.[67] To release a captive-bred falcon, the bird is placed in a special cage at the top of a tower or cliff ledge for some days or so, allowing it to acclimate itself to its future environment.[67] Worldwide recovery efforts have been remarkably successful.[66] The widespread restriction of DDT use eventually allowed released birds to breed successfully.[44] The Peregrine Falcon was removed from the U.S. Endangered Species list on August 25, 1999.[44][68]

Current status

In the USA

Many Peregrine Falcons have settled in large cities, nesting on cathedrals, skyscraper window ledges, and the towers of suspension bridges. As early as 1946, Peregrine Falcons were nesting atop Philadelphia City Hall, which is believed to be among the first artificial structures in the world to be used as a nest site by this species.[69] In Virginia, state officials working with students from the Center for Conservation Biology of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg successfully established nesting boxes high atop the George P. Coleman Memorial Bridge on the York River, the Benjamin Harrison Memorial Bridge and Varina-Enon Bridge on the James River, and at other similar locations. Thirteen new chicks were hatched in this Virginia program during a recent year. Over 250 falcons have been released through the Virginia program.[70] The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation reported that there were 67 pairs of peregrine falcons in the state during 2008.[71] The Peregrine Falcon is the State Raptor of Idaho.

In Canada

As in the USA, Peregrine Falcons have moved into major Canadian cities. In Hamilton, there have been a pair of birds nesting on a ledge overhanging a window of the downtown Sheraton hotel every year since 1994.[72] The Hamilton Community Peregrine Project was setup in 1995 to observe the falcons and provide care should they need it.[73] This includes banding birds that have successfully fledged and caring for birds which crash onto the busy streets below the nest. They also have a camera aimed at the nesting site, which can be viewed on their website.[74]

The University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta also houses a pair of breeding Peregrine Falcons atop the Clinical Sciences building, amongst others on the campus who are actively monitored via webcams. Several birds have also been tagged with radio transmitters, permitting study of migration patterns.[75]

In Britain

In Britain, there has been a recovery of populations since the crash of the 1960s. This has been greatly assisted by conservation and protection work led by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Peregrines now breed in many mountainous and coastal areas, especially in the west and north, and nest in some urban areas, capitalizing on the urban pigeon populations for food.[76]

Cultural references

References

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  2. ^ Heinzel, H.; Fitter, R.S.R.; Parslow, J. (1995), Birds of Britain and Europe (5 ed.), London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-219894-0 
  3. ^ Friedmann, H. (1950), "i rock birds of North and Middle America", U.S. National Museum Bulletin 50 (11): 1–793 
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  5. ^ a b "Wildlife Finder - Peregrine falcon". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/species/Peregrine_falcon. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
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  9. ^ Cade, T.J. et al. (1996), "Peregrine Falcons in Urban North America", in Bird, D.M., D.E. Varland & J.J. Negro, Raptors in Human Landscapes, London: Academic Press, pp. 3–13, ISBN 012100130X 
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  11. ^ a b c d Dewey, T. and Potter, M. (2002), Animal Diversity Web: Falco peregrinus, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Falco_peregrinus.html, retrieved 21 May 2008 
  12. ^ a b Scholz, F. (1993), Birds of Prey, Stackpole Books, ISBN 0811702421 
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  15. ^ a b c d Beckstead, D. (2001)
  16. ^ (Latin) Tunstall, Marmaduke (1771). Ornithologia Britannica: seu Avium omnium Britannicarum tam terrrestrium, quam aquaticarum catalogus, sermone Latino, Anglico et Gallico redditus: cui subjuctur appendix avec alennigenas, in Angliam raro advenientes, complectens.. London, J. Dixwell. 
  17. ^ University of Minnesota (2004), Peregrine Falcon, http://www.raptor.cvm.umn.edu/learn/info/peregrinefalcon/home.html, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  18. ^ e.g. French faucon pèlerin, German Wanderfalke, Italian falco pellegrino, Polish sokół wędrowny, Slovak sokol sťahovavý, Swedish pilgrimsfalk
  19. ^ Contra Helbig et al. (1994), Wink et al. (1998). The supposed basal position of the hierofalcons was due to them having a cytochrome b numt: see Wink & Sauer-Gürth (2000)
  20. ^ Helbig et al. (1994), Wink et al. (1998)
  21. ^ Helbig et al. (1994), Wink et al. (1998), Griffiths (1999), Wink & Sauer-Gürth (2000), Groombridge et al. (2002), Griffiths et al. (2004), Nittinger et al. (2005)
  22. ^ a b Vaurie (1961)
  23. ^ a b c American Ornithologists' Union (1910):p.164
  24. ^ The shaheen (شاهین) of Arabic and Persian writers are usually Barbary Falcons; those in Indian (शाहीन) and Pakistani (شاہین) sources normally refer to peregrinator.
  25. ^ Döttlinger & Nicholls (2005)
  26. ^ Döttlinger,Hermann; Hoffmann,Thilo W (1999). "Status of the Black Shaheen or Indian Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus peregrinator in Sri Lanka". J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 96 (2): 239–243. 
  27. ^ a b c Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2007)
  28. ^ Also called "Kleinschmidt's Falcon", but this might equally refer to F. p. kleinschmidti which is a junior synonym of japonensis,
  29. ^ a b Ellis, D.H. and Garat, C.P. (1983), "The Pallid Falcon Falco kreyenborgi is a color phase of the Austral Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus cassini)" (PDF), Auk 100 (2): 269–271, http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v100n02/p0269-p0271.pdf, retrieved 2008-05-24 
  30. ^ a b American Ornithologists' Union (1910):p.165
  31. ^ a b c Proctor, N. & Lynch, P. (1993):p.13
  32. ^ Vaurie, 1961
  33. ^ Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor levied a rent of these birds on the Knights Hospitaller when he donated the Island of Malta to them. Source of the name for Dashiell Hammett's novel.
  34. ^ Mayr (1941)
  35. ^ Peters, J. L.; Mayr, E. & Cottrell, W. (1979):p.423
  36. ^ a b Wink et al. (2000)
  37. ^ Döttlinger, 2002
  38. ^ (Vaurie, 1961)
  39. ^ Blondel (1999)
  40. ^ Helbig et al. (1994)
  41. ^ Wink et al. (1998)
  42. ^ Wink & Sauer-Gürth (2000)
  43. ^ Wink et al. (2004)
  44. ^ a b c d U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1995), Peregrine Falcon, http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/SpeciesReport.do?spcode=B050, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  45. ^ Tucker (1998)
  46. ^ Harpole, Tom (2005-03-01). "Falling with the Falcon". Smithsonian Air & Space magazine. http://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/falcon.html. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  47. ^ Colpocephalum falconii which was described from specimens found on the Peregrine Falcon, Colpocephalum subzerafae, Colpocephalum zerafae and Nosopon lucidum (all Menoponidae), Degeeriella rufa (Philopteridae), Laemobothrion tinnunculi (Laemobothriidae). All are known from other Falco species too.(Dewey & Potter 2002, Dagleish 2003)
  48. ^ Raidal et al. (1999), Raidal & Jaensch (2000), Dewey & Potter (2002), Dalgleish (2003)
  49. ^ http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/660/articles/foodhabits
  50. ^ a b c Drewitt, E.J.A. and Dixon, N. (February 2008), "Diet and prey selection of urban-dwelling Peregrine Falcons in southwest England", British Birds 101: 58–67 
  51. ^ Olmos, F. and Silva e Silva, R. (2003), Guará: Ambiente , Fauna e Flora dos Manguezais de Santos-Cubatão, Brasil, São Paulo: Empresa das Artes, pp. 111, ISBN 85-89-138-06-2 
  52. ^ a b c Ehrlich, P., Dobkin, D. and Wheye, D. (1992), Birds in Jeopardy: The Imperiled and Extinct Birds of the United States, Standford University Press, ISBN 0804719810 
  53. ^ a b c d Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
  54. ^ a b c d e Blood, D. and Banasch, U. (2001), Hinterland Who's Who Bird Fact Sheets: Peregrine Falcon, http://www.hww.ca/hww2.asp?id=60, retrieved 2008-05-22 
  55. ^ http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/660/articles/behavior
  56. ^ a b Peterson, R. T (1976):p.171
  57. ^ Taken from http://www.raptorresource.org/facts.htm
  58. ^ Towry (1987)
  59. ^ a b Snow (1994)
  60. ^ T. J. Cade, J. H. Enderson, C. G. Thelander & C. M. White (Eds): Peregrine Falcon Populations – Their management and recovery. The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, 1988. ISBN 0-9619839-0-6
  61. ^ Brown (1976)
  62. ^ Trade in wild-caught Peregrine Falcons and their eggs and young is illegal in most jurisdictions. Falconers are advised to demand valid documentation even if they are able to legally purchase this species.
  63. ^ American Birding Association (2005), Code of Birding Ethics, American Birding Association, Inc., http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html, retrieved 2008-05-26 
  64. ^ Kuzir, S. and Muzini, J. (1999), "Birds and air traffic safety on Zagreb airport (Croatia)", The Environmentalist 18 (4): 231–237, doi:10.1023/A:1006541304592 
  65. ^ Enderson, James; Katona, Robert (illustrator) (2005). Peregrine Falcon: Stories of the Blue Meanie. University of Texas Press. pp. 175. ISBN 0292706243. 
  66. ^ a b Cassidy, J. and Reader's Digest Editors (2005), Book of North American Birds, Reader's Digest, pp. 34, ISBN 0895773511, http://books.google.com/books?id=eKU-5_7lfXMC&dq, retrieved 2008-05-26 
  67. ^ a b Aitken, G. (2004), A New Approach to Conservation, Ashgate Publishing, pp. 126, ISBN 0754632830, http://books.google.com/books?id=IAu-MzZbAPMC&dq, retrieved 2008-05-26 
  68. ^ Henny, Charles J; Morlan W. Nelson (1981). "Decline and Present Status of Breeding Peregrine Falcons in Oregon". The Murrelet (Society for Northwestern Vertebrate Biology) 62 (2): 43–53. doi:10.2307/3534174. http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0027-3716(198122)62%3A2%3C43%3ADAPSOB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-H. Retrieved 2008-06-28. "The records of Richard M. Bond and William E. Griffee, and the recollections of Larry L. Schramm and Merlin A. McColm were critical in putting the Peregrine back off the endangered list.". 
  69. ^ Farr, Stephanie (2009-05-19). "At City Hall, a Time to Prey". Philadelphia Daily News. http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20090519_At_City_Hall__a_time_to_prey.html. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  70. ^ Center for Conservation Biology (2006), Falcon Populations, http://ccb.wm.edu/vafalcons/falpop/vapop.htm, retrieved 2008-05-26 
  71. ^ Navarro, Mireya (2009-02-12). "Record Number of Peregrine Falcons in New York State". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/nyregion/13falcon.html. Retrieved 2009-02-13. 
  72. ^ McGuinness, Eric (2009-04-09). "Four peregrine falcon eggs spotted at Sheraton". The Hamilton Spectator. http://www.thespec.com/article/540080. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  73. ^ McGuinness, Eric (2009-06-01). "FTheir interest took flight long ago". The Hamilton Spectator. http://www.thespec.com/News/Local/article/575319. Retrieved 2009-09-04. 
  74. ^ History of the Hamilton Community Peregrine Project and Falcon Watch, http://falcons.hamiltonnature.org/, retrieved 2009-09-04 
  75. ^ http://www.falconcam.med.ualberta.ca/index.html
  76. ^ The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (2003), Peregrine Falcon: Threats, http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/p/peregrine/threats.asp, retrieved 2008-05-26 
  77. ^ Shalaway, Scott (2007-09-02). "Quarters reflect high interest in nature". Charleston Gazette. 
  78. ^ "Scanning the Shelves". Washington Post: p. C12. 2008-08-13. 
  79. ^ "Suzuki Hayabusa". Motorcycle-USA.com. http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/444/Motorcycles/Suzuki-Hayabusa.aspx. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  80. ^ Beintema, Rob (2008-07-11). "Suzuki Hayabusa better and badder than ever". Toronto Star: p. D4. 

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  • Beckstead, D. (2001) American Peregrine Falcon U.S. National Park Service Version of 2001-03-09. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
  • Brown, L. (1976): Birds of Prey: Their biology and ecology: 226. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-31306-9
  • BirdLife International (2004): Falco peregrinus IUCN 2006. downloaded 2006-05-12
  • Brillen, A (2007): Gestern bis Heute - Greifvogelschutz. Deutscher Falkenorden Landesverband Nordrhein-Westfalen. Retrieved 2007-10-15. [in German]
  • Brodkorb, P. (1964): Catalogue of Fossil Birds: Part 2 (Anseriformes through Galliformes). Bulletin of the Florida State Museum 8(3): 195–335. PDF or JPEG fulltext
  • Couve, E. & Vidal, C. (2003): Aves de Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego y Península Antártcica. Editorial Fantástico Sur Birding Ltda. ISBN 956-8007-03-2
  • Dalgleish, R. C. (ed.) (2003): Birds and their associated Chewing Lice: Falconidae - Falcons, Caracaras. Version of 2003-08-30. Retrieved 2007-08-15.
  • Dewey, T. & Potter, M. (2002): Animal Diversity Web: Falco peregrinus. Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  • Döttlinger, H. (2002): The Black Shaheen Falcon. Books on Demand. ISBN 3831136262[1]
  • Döttlinger, H. & M. Nicholls (2005): Distribution and population trends of the 'black shaheen' Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus peregrinator and the eastern Peregrine Falcon F. p. calidus in Sri Lanka. Forktail 21: 133–138 PDF fulltext
  • Griffiths, C. S. (1999): Phylogeny of the Falconidae inferred from molecular and morphological data. Auk 116(1): 116–130. PDF fulltext
  • Griffiths, C. S.; Barrowclough, G. F.; Groth, Jeff G. & Mertz, Lisa (2004): Phylogeny of the Falconidae (Aves): a comparison of the efficacy of morphological, mitochondrial, and nuclear data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32(1): 101–109. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.11.019 (HTML abstract)
  • Groombridge, J. J.; Jones, C. G.; Bayes, M. K.; van Zyl, A.J.; Carrillo, J.; Nichols, R. A. & Bruford, M. W. (2002): A molecular phylogeny of African kestrels with reference to divergence across the Indian Ocean. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 25(2): 267–277. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00254-3 (HTML abstract)
  • Helbig, A.J.; Seibold, I.; Bednarek, W.; Brüning, H.; Gaucher, P.; Ristow, D.; Scharlau, W.; Schmidl, D. & Wink, M. (1994): Phylogenetic relationships among falcon species (genus Falco) according to DNA sequence variation of the cytochrome b gene. In: Meyburg, B.-U. & Chancellor, R.D. (eds.): Raptor conservation today: 593–599. PDF fulltext
  • Mayr, E. (1941):Birds collected during the Whitney South Sea Expedition. 45, Notes on New Guinea birds. 8. American Museum novitates 1133. PDF fulltext
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources (2007): Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Retrieved 2007-08-12.
  • Mlíkovský, J. (2002): Cenozoic Birds of the World, Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press, Prague. ISBN 80-901105-3-8 PDF fulltext
  • Nittinger, F.; Haring, E.; Pinsker, W.; Wink, M. & Gamauf, A. (2005): Out of Africa? Phylogenetic relationships between Falco biarmicus and other hierofalcons (Aves Falconidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43(4): 321–331. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2005.00326.x PDF fulltext
  • Peters, J. L.; Mayr, E. & Cottrell, W. (1979): Check-list of Birds of the World. Museum of Comparative Zoology.
  • Peterson, R. T (1976): A Field Guide to the Birds of Texas: And Adjacent States. Houghton Mifflin Field Guides. ISBN 0395921384
  • Proctor, N. & Lynch, P. (1993): Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure & Function. Yale University Press. ISBN 0300076193
  • Raidal, S. & Jaensch, S. (2000): Central nervous disease and blindness in Nankeen kestrels (Falco cenchroides) due to a novel Leucocytozoon-like infection. Avian Patholog 29(1): 51–56. doi:10.1080/03079450094289 PDF fulltext
  • Raidal, S.; Jaensch, S. & Ende, J. (1999): Preliminary Report of a Parasitic Infection of the Brain and Eyes of a Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus and Nankeen Kestrels Falco cenchroides in Western Australia. Emu 99(4): 291–292. doi:10.1071/MU99034A
  • Sielicki, J. & Mizera, T. (2009): Peregrine Falcon populations - status and perspectives in the 21st century. Turul Publishing. ISBN 9788392096962
  • State of Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2007): State of Queensland Environmental Protection Agency/Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. [2]. Retrieved 2007-10-15.
  • Tchernov, E. (1968): Peregrine Falcon and Purple Gallinule of late Pleistocene Age in the Sudanese Aswan Reservoir Area. Auk 85(1): 133. PDF fulltext
  • Towry, R. K. (1987): Wildlife habitat requirements. Pages 73–210 in R. L. Hoover & D. L. Wills (editors) Managing Forested Lands for Wildlife. Colorado Division of Wildlife, Denver, Colorado, USA.
  • Tucker, V. A. (1998): Gliding flight: speed and acceleration of ideal falcons during diving and pull out. Journal of Experimental Biology 201(3): 403–414. PDF fulltext
  • Vaurie, C. (1961): Systematic notes on Palearctic birds. No. 44, Falconidae, the genus Falco. (Part 1, Falco peregrinus and Falco pelegrinoides). American Museum Novitates 2035: 1–19. fulltext
  • Wink, M. & Sauer-Gürth, H. (2000): Advances in the molecular systematics of African raptors. In: Chancellor, R.D. & Meyburg, B.-U. (eds): Raptors at Risk: 135–147. WWGBP/Hancock House, Berlin/Blaine. PDF fulltext
  • Wink, M.; Seibold, I.; Lotfikhah, F. & Bednarek, W. (1998): Molecular systematics of holarctic raptors (Order Falconiformes). In: Chancellor, R.D., Meyburg, B.-U. & Ferrero, J.J. (eds.): Holarctic Birds of Prey: 29–48. Adenex & WWGBP. PDF fulltext
  • Wink, M.; Döttlinger, H.; Nicholls, M. K. & Sauer-Gürth, H. (2000): Phylogenetic relationships between Black Shaheen (Falco peregrinus peregrinator), Red-naped Shaheen (F. pelegrinoides babylonicus) and Peregrines (F. peregrinus). In: Chancellor, R.D. & Meyburg, B.-U. (eds): Raptors at Risk: 853–857. WWGBP/Hancock House, Berlin/Blaine. PDF fulltext
  • Wink, M.; Sauer-Gürth, H.; Ellis, D. & Kenward, R. (2004): Phylogenetic relationships in the Hierofalco complex (Saker-, Gyr-, Lanner-, Laggar Falcon). In: Chancellor, R.D. & Meyburg, B.-U. (eds.): Raptors Worldwide: 499–504. WWGBP, Berlin. PDF fulltext
  • Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (2003): Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Version of 2003-01-07. Retrieved 2007-08-13.

External links

Conservation organizations
Video and other media of Peregrines


Simple English

Peregrine Falcon
File:Falco peregrinus nest
Adult of subspecies pealei or tundrius, Alaska
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. peregrinus
Binomial name
Falco peregrinus
Tunstall, 1771
Subspecies

17-19, see text

Synonyms

Falco atriceps Hume
Falco kreyenborgi Kleinschmidt, 1929
Falco pelegrinoides madens Ripley & Watson, 1963
Rhynchodon peregrinus (Tunstall, 1771)
and see text

The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It can also be known just as the Peregrine,[2] and was once called the "Duck Hawk" in North America. In Pakistan it is the state bird of the country recognized as Shaheen and officially the military iconic symbol of the PAF.[3]

It is a large, crow-sized falcon, with a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head and "moustache". It can fly at up to 322 km/h (200 mph), which means it is the fastest animal in the world.[4][5] As with other bird-eating raptors, the female is bigger than the male.[6][7] There are 17–19 subspecies recorded, and each varies slightly in appearance and where they live. There is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is a subspecies of the Peregrine or just a different species.

The use of certain pesticides, especially DDT was not good for the animals. It could be shown that in areas where DDT was used, the thickness of the shells of their eggs was reduced. This caused a dramatic decline in their numbers, in certain countries. Since the use of DDT has been forbidden in many countries, their numbers are increasing again. This recovery was helped because their nesting places were protected in many countries; some countries also bred these falcons and released them into the wild.[8]

Other websites

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Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:
Look up Peregrine Falcon in Wikispecies, a directory of species

Conservation organizations:

References

  1. BirdLife International (2004), Falco peregrinus: 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, http://www.iucnredlist.org/search/details.php/49518/summ, retrieved 2008-05-21 
  2. Heinzel, H.; Fitter, R.S.R.; Parslow, J. (1995), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator Birds of Britain and Europe] (5 ed.), London: HarperCollins, ISBN 0-00-219894-0 
  3. Friedmann, H. (1950), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "i rock birds of North and Middle America"], U.S. National Museum Bulletin 50 (11): 1–793 
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1999), All about the Peregrine falcon, http://www.fws.gov/endangered/recovery/peregrine/QandA.html, retrieved 17 October 2008 
  5. Taylor, Barbara; Roger Priddy (2007). My Big Animal World. Macmillan. p. p. 54. ISBN 0312497024. 
  6. White, C.M. et al (199), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator "Family Falconida"], in del Hoyo, J., Elliot, A. and Sargatal, J., Handbook of Birds of the World: New World Vultures to Guineafow, Barcelon: Lynx Edicion, pp. 216-275, plates 24-2, ISBN 84-87334-15-6 
  7. Snow, D.W. et al. (1998), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator The complete birds of the western Palaearctic on CD-ROM], Oxford University Press, ISBN 0192685791 
  8. Cade, T.J. et al. (1988), [Expression error: Unexpected < operator Peregrine Falcon Populations – Their management and recovery], The Peregrine Fund, Boise, Idaho, ISBN 0-9619839-0-6 

frr:Waanerfalk


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