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Peregrine Falcon

(Falco peregrinus)
Alternate name(s): "Black-cheeked Falcon", "Peregrine"; misnomer: "Duck Hawk"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "macropus": "bihyun" (Gold Coast); "kwetolbo", "moldern" (WA)

Size: 35-50 cm; wing span 85-100 cm
Weight: 425-750 g (male), 910-1500 g (female)

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Peregrine Falcon at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range


Click here for sighting information


Race "macropus"


Distant frontal view of an adult Peregrine Falcon (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer]
[Gum Swamp, Forbes, NSW, November 2015]

Lateral view of a Peregrine Falcon sitting on a rockface (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Swan Reach Cliffs, East Gippsland, VIC, May 2015]

Near-dorsal view of a Peregrine Falcon using a lamppost as its perch (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Dianella, Perth, WA, July 2016]

Two Peregrine Falcons in a dead treetop - the adult, most likely a female, sits at the very top, the juvenile bird to its lower right
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2009]

Peregrine Falcon in flight (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Royal NP, NSW, June 2013]

View of the underwing pattern of a Peregrine Falcon in flight
[Deriah Aboriginal Area, NSW, January 2014]


Portrait of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon taken in captivity (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)

Lateral portrait of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon taken in captivity (photo courtesy of M. Windeyer)

Breeding information

Breeding season: Aug - Nov Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 31 - 35 days Fledging age: ca. 40 days

Nest building: N/A Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Peregrine Falcons do not build a nest. They either use a scrape or just a bare rock surface or they re-use another species' stick nest.


"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Scrape in rock crevice Material: Rock Height above ground: 15 - ? m

Peregrine Falcon sitting in front of its nest in a rock crevice (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, 1980ies]

Location of the Peregrine Falcon nest the entrance to which is shown above (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, 1980ies]


"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 53 x 40 mm Colour: Creamy, with olive-brown speckles Shape: Ellipsoidal

Peregrine Falcon nest with 2 eggs in it (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Pilliga scrub, NSW, 1980ies]

Food, Diet

Adults: Birds Dependents: As adults Water intake: None

All raptors are carnivores. Peregrine Falcons prey on smaller birds, up to the size of pigeons or ducks, which they take in flight.

During the first few weeks, raptors feed their chicks with pieces of meat. Later on in their development, the chicks learn to tear apart their parents' prey.

Distant view of a Peregrine Falcon devouring its prey

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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