Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus


Least Concern

Peregrine falcons are large, powerfully built raptors (birds of prey). Adults have blue-grey wings, dark brown backs, a buff-coloured underside with brown spots, and white faces with a black tear stripe on their cheeks. They have a hooked beaks and strong talons.

The peregrine falcon is one of the most widespread birds in the world but it is not a common species. It is an adaptable bird that can be found in almost any habitat from cold tundras to hot deserts, from sea level to high in the mountains. Their adaptability even allows them to thrive in cities. They live in a greater variety of habitats than almost any other bird of prey.

The peregrine falcon is the fastest bird and animal in the world, swooping down at speeds of up to 300 km/h.


Peregrine falcons are carnivores that feed on small and medium-sized birds, as well as rabbits and other mammals that are active during the day. It swoops down on its prey from above, catching or stunning it with its powerfully hooked talons, before grasping and carrying it off to a perch to eat. It will pursue flying birds and it soars to a great height in search of prey.


Peregrines don’t build nests. They usually find a shallow dip in some rocks or scrape a depression in the soil on the ledge of a cliff, they have even been known to use the ledge of a city building. Female peregrines lay two to four eggs at a time. Parents incubate the eggs for 30 days until the eggs hatch. Peregrine chicks stay in the nest for up to six weeks, by which time they’ve learned to fly.

  • Close up of a peregrine falcon
  • Location

    Dark green indicates where the peregrine falcon can be found

    Distribution map of Goshawks in Australia