The Peregrine Falcons prefer to nest on cliffs and bluffs. A nest site, called an eyrie, consists of a shallow scrape that is prepared to hold from 2 to 6 eggs. Historically, nest sites are used year after year, with some nest sites in North America occupied for more than 50 years, and in Europe up to 350 years (Terres 1995).
These falcons usually do not breed until about 3 years old. Each egg is incubated for 28-29 days. The female closely broods the young, but the male assumes an increasing important role as they get older. Young birds fly when 35 to 42 days old, but depend on the parent for an additional two months (Baicich, P. J. & C. J. O. Harrison 1997).
According to the Bird Banding Lab web site, a total of 31,250 Peregrine Falcons were banded nationwide from 1914 to 1998. Of these, 2,268 have been recovered. Banding studies show that some Falcons are migratory, especially those in northern breeding areas. Individual falcons also wander far and wide, and can live up to 20 years in the wild.
Peregrine Falcons prey on a wide variety of bird species. They are efficient
predators high on the food chain, and provide a natural control on wild bird
Peregrines are also highly regarded by wildlife enthusiasts. Few forget their first encounter with a Peregrine Falcon, and it is likely that none can forget the first time they witnesses a Peregrine Falcon stoop on its prey.
The presence of a nesting pair of Peregrines Falcons can be an economic benefit to a community as many will visit to witness this awesome bird of prey.
Baicich, P. J. & C. J. O. Harrison. 1997. A guide to the nests, eggs and nestlings of North American Birds, 2nd ed. Academic Press.
Terres, J. K. 1995. The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds. Wings Books, NY.
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