Peale’s Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus pealei

Peale's Peregrine Falcon

Appearance

Peale’s peregrine falcons have small heads and long pointed wings for flying at high speeds. When flying, they can dive at over 300 kilometres per hour. A black “moustache” below the eye, dark upper parts and light breast and belly helps identify them.

Range & Habitat

They nest across coastal Alaska and B.C. In B.C., this animal is found in the Coast and Mountains and Georgia Depression ecoprovinces.

Diet & Behaviour

Falcons are excellent hunters with sharp talons and beaks. They eat mostly small seabirds (especially ancient murrelets) and some mammals. They nest mostly on cliffs, and mate for life; the parents teach the young how to catch prey in the air.

Lifecycle & Threats

They reach breeding maturity at two years of age. On average, they lay 4 eggs each spring, which hatch about a month later. When the pesticide DDT was being used on crops, peregrine falcons suffered because they ate insects covered in DDT, and it made their eggshells too thin to hold the chicks in. The use of DDT has since been banned and peregrine falcon populations are recovering.

Status

COSEWIC: Special Concern
CDC: Blue

More Information

www.env.gov.bc.ca

Photo: LenBlumin