What do peregrine falcons eat?


Quick Answer

A peregrine falcon's diet mainly consists of smaller birds, such as pigeons, starlings, doves, jays, shorebirds, songbirds and waterfowl. However, peregrine falcons inhabit six continents and live in both rural and urban environments, so they quickly adapt to catching other types of animals, including reptiles, insects, bats, fish and rodents.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Despite their versatile abilities, peregrine falcons usually hone their hunting skills to target specific localized species, such as pigeons in cities and seabirds near coastal towns. They scan for prey by finding tall trees, cliffs, bridges, buildings and even ships to perch and nest on. After spotting suitable prey, falcons fly high up and hurtle down towards their targets in a rapid dive. They position their wings close to their bodies to gain speed, traveling as fast as 200 mph. Next, falcons use their talons to grab prey in midair and may immediately disarm the animals by breaking their necks.

Peregrine falcons may also fly low to the ground or water to snatch up rodents, reptiles and fish. When they don't have the time or vantage point to plan a thorough attack, falcons aggressively chase other birds in flight in hopes of tiring out their prey. Falcons have the aerial agility to ram smaller birds out of the air or quickly change direction while flying to kill prey from below. While they typically carry larger prey to the ground or a perch to remove the feathers, falcons can easily consume a small bird in midair.

Learn more about Birds

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What food do doves eat?

    A: Rock doves or feral pigeons eat seeds and grains that they pick up from the ground. Pigeons are also opportunistic and will eat cake, popcorn and bits of b... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do falcons eat?

    A: One of the most common falcon species, the peregrine falcon, eats mainly other birds, such as ducks, gulls, pigeons, cranes, ptarmigans, swifts and many ty... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do white doves eat?

    A: White doves feed primarily on seeds. Rocket Swag lists popcorn kernels, millet and sunflowers as particularly suitable. Grit in the form of crushed oyster ... Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some facts about doves?

    A: Doves rest their heads between their shoulders when they sleep, and they primarily eat seeds and fruit rather than insects. They typically lay only two egg... Full Answer >
    Filed Under: