Saturday, 15 August 2009

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

OTHER NAMES: Peregrine, Duck Hawk
Latin Etymology: Falco ("falcon") peregrinus ("peregrine - wanderer")
Adult Peregrine Falcon (subpecies F. p. peregrinusat Trevose Head, Cornwall - April 2015

Featured Subspecies: Falco peregrinus peregrinus
Weight: 300-1500g  /  Length: 34-58cm  /  Wingspan: 74-120cm
UK GREEN LIST / IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The headline for any discussion of the Peregrine has to be that it's the fastest animal on the entire planet, when stooping for prey - regularly smashing past 200 miles per hour as it stoops on unsuspecting prey.  It's also got a selection of other trivia to back that up - it's one of the most widely distributed of all birds, found on every continent, and indeed, a substantial portion of the surface of the earth.  It's also one of the first species to be used for falconry, and has been used as such for over 3000 years.  The peregrine falcon is also our largest resident falcon, and one of the largest falcons in general. However, it suffered massively in recent history - is also a species which is beginning to recover following being persecuted historically. I've found Cornwall to probably be the best place to see them consistently, but I've also seen them in Northumbria, Northamptonshire, Cumbria, Kent and even Central London!

Related Species:

Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Subspecies: F. p. peregrinus, F. p. calidus, F. p. japonensis, F. p. brookei, F. p. peregrinator, F. p. anatum, F. p. pealei, F. p. tundrius, F. p. cassini, F. p. minorF. p. madens, F. p. radama, F. p. ernesti, F. p. nesiotis, F. p. furuitii, F. p. macropus, F. p. submelanogenys   

- Sighting Locations -
UNITED KINGDOM - A scarce but widespread resident in many habitats (1500 pairs) 
 - Seen only occasionally but in many different locations including Trevose HeadRainham MarshesPitsford ReservoirDitchford Gravel Pits and Geddington.
MALAYSIA - Malay - Falko Belalang ("Grasshopper Falcon")
An uncommonand localresident
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single bird sighted in the Genting Highlands
SPAIN - Spanish - Halcón común ("Common Falcon")
An uncommon resident.
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: Seen flying over Monfrague National Park.        

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