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All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Falcon

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In today's article, we'll tell you all about the falcon, a bird of prey with a very well-developed eyesight. It can also reach great speeds when it flies. 
All You Ever Wanted to Know about the Falcon
Last update: 13 May, 2019

Today, we’ll tell you about the falcon, a bird of prey which is part of the family of Falconidae – a bird which is known for its infallible vision. Its vision allows it to detect prey even at great distances. Because of this, the falcon is an effective and fast hunter.

Some details about the falcon

There are more than 40 species of falcon, and it varies in size and color. This animal lives all over the planet, except for Antarctica.

Among the falcon’s physical characteristics, we can point out the following:

  • They’re between 10-24 inches in length, depending on the species. The females are somewhat larger than the males. 
  • Falcons have a robust body shape, which facilitates their movement through the air.
  • They have fine, flexible and conical wings, which make them very agile and give them the ability to change direction quickly.
  • Their powerful and sharp claws are ideal for catching prey. 
  • They use their thick, strong and curved beak to tear apart the animals that they hunt.

Learn about the falcon, a bird of prey with highly developed vision, known for being an accurate and fast hunter.

Incredible vision

Like we’ve already mentioned, this bird has amazing eyesight; on average, it’s two and half times better than that of humans. Because of that, it can detect his prey at great distances.

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In the novel The Last of the Mohicans, author James Fenimore Cooper named the protagonist Hawkeye, after the falcon. That’s because, even from far away, he could always hit the target with his rifle.

An accurate and fast hunter

Once the falcon detects its prey from the air, it will launch towards it at great speed and enviable precision. While different species of falcons have different hunting methods, the most common one is to fly and dive.

Under these circumstances, some species are particularly fast and fly over 124 mph. However, the peregrine falcon exceeds 186 mph and is considered the fastest animal in the animal kingdom. 

It mainly feeds on small animals. For example:

  • Rodents
  • Birds
  • Frogs
  • Fish
  • Snakes

More details

Falcons have diurnal habits and are generally solitary animals; they only stay together when it’s time to reproduce. They build their nests in high places, either in mountains, on cliffs, or at the tops of tall trees. This is how they protect their young from predators.

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The falcon reaches sexual maturity at the age of one year. The female usually lays about three eggs and will take care of her young for about 90 days, at which time the young must fend for themselves.

They have a life expectancy of 15 years in the wild, and can live up to two decades in captivity. In captivity, they are mostly used for falconry. 

And, of course, man is one of its main predators, as well as wolves. Additionally, eagles and owls can hunt small species of hawks or very young ones.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.