Peregrine Falcon


Last COSEWIC designation: May 2000
SARA risk category: Threatened

Description: Falcons have long pointed wings that enable them to fly at great speed. Their bluish-grey or slate-coloured upper parts characterize adults of both sexes. The anatums are medium-sized, coloured buffy-salmon on the breast, and often have black cheeks.

Habitat: The habitat requirements of the Peregrine Falcon can be divided into three components; the nest site which are usually scrapes made on cliff ledges on steep cliffs, usually near wetlands –including artificial cliffs such as quarries and buildings; the nesting territory which is the area defended around the nest prevents other pairs from nesting within 1 km or more; and the home range which is the extended, non-defended area in which the peregrines hunt for additional food and which can extend to 27 km from the nest.

Threats: In the past, the major cause of decline of Peregrine Falcon populations were the presence of agricultural pesticides in the environment. Current threats include the small population size and the diminishing quality of habitat. Locally, peregrines may be affected by destruction of breeding sites and breeding areas, or by human intrusion near nest sites.