Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre
Peregrine Falcon

A large falcon in which the sexes look alike. The female (the falcon) is about one-third larger than the male (the tiercel). Adults have a dark slate- blue back and wings and a dark blue tail that is lightly barred. The top of the head is dark with a dark stripe running down the side of the face. The cere, legs, and feet are bright yellow. The underside of the adult is light with vertical streaks across the breast, belly and legs. Immatures are uniformly brown on the back, top of the head, and wings, with a light underside streaked with brown. Peregrine falcons are widely distributed resulting in many populations and sub-species (22 by one count) each with a slight variation of the above plumage.

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Distributed worldwide, peregrine falcons are found on every continent except Antarctica. They can be found breeding in the arctic tundra, through Europe, and North America, and south into Africa, South America, the Pacific Islands and Australia.

Peregrine falcons are birds of open spaces usually associated with high cliffs and bluffs overlooking rivers and coasts. Recently, many cities with tall buildings have become home to pairs of peregrines. Many populations are migratory (their name means "wandering falcon") and will travel great distances.