Does your kid love Falcon from the Avengers? Does he/she too, want to spread their wings and fly high into the sky just like the character Falcon and be a superhero?
Maybe you want to tell your kid how amazing the Falcon is; not the character but the real bird; peregrine falcon. If so, then read on as we take a look at some peregrine falcon facts for the kids.
11 Interesting & Fun Peregrine Falcon Facts for Kids They Will Love to Know about
When I was a kid, there were numerous times when I used to look up at the sky and wonder, “Can I fly like the birds?” I am sure your little one too must have wondered that sometime.
After all, the desire to fly is innate in all human beings, whether that person is a kid or not. Looking at the peregrine falcon brings up that desire once more as these mighty birds soar and sweep across the sky at full speed.
Now let us take a look at those fun peregrine falcon facts!
1. Peregrine falcons are the fastest recorded animals
When someone thinks about the fastest creature in the animal kingdom, it’s usually cheetah or ostrich. However, the peregrine falcons are even faster than the ones mentioned. They have been recorded to clock in at 242 miles per hour when they are diving for prey. This makes the peregrine falcon the fastest animal to be recorded.
They have specially pointed winds and respiratory systems that allow them to flap their wings 4 times per second without fatigue.
2. They migrate massive distances
Not only are these birds extremely fast, but they also are very durable creatures. They can migrate massive distances, covering almost 15500 miles a year. An interesting fact about the peregrine falcons is that their name means ‘wanderer’. Quite a fitting name for a bird that is ready to migrate thousands of miles to hunt or mate.
3. They have a very versatile diet
When it comes to eating, the peregrine falcons are very well behaved. They are not picky eaters and have a versatile diet. They hunt several different hundreds of species for food and they use their talons and beaks to kill and eat their prey.
4. Peregrine falcons mate for life
Peregrine falcons are usually solitary creatures. But, during breeding season, they return to one partner throughout their lives.
Courtship of these falcons is quite a sight to see. It includes acrobatic displays where the male drops food that is caught by the female who is flying upside down!
5. They have an amazing vision
When you fly at over 200 miles per hour to hunt, you ought to have really good eyesight. Hence, it is not a surprise that peregrine falcons have an excellent binocular vision which is eight times better than that of a human being.
They can spot their prey from a distance of 3 km. They also have a third eyelid which clears the tears and debris from the eyes to make sure their visions are not obstructed.
6. Peregrine falcons nearly went extinct in North America
Agricultural pesticides were one of the major reasons for the decline in the numbers of these birds. Chemicals like DDT reach the peregrine falcons through their food. This results in the eggshells becoming really thin breaking easily. This means that only a few babies survived.
Thankfully, after the chemical was banned, the population slowly started increasing.
7. Humans have used peregrine falcons to hunt for many years
It has already been said that the peregrine falcons are excellent hunters. So it is not surprising that humans have used the falcons in various shows and artistic depictions since ancient times.
In fact, the art of training falcons to bring back prey has been around since the Middle Ages. You can also see records of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Mart, Queen of Scots enjoying this hobby.
8. Along with talons, they have extremely sharp beaks
Being extremely good hunters, the peregrine falcons have sharp and strong beaks along with sharp talons. These help them in snatching up the prey and tearing the flesh and eating them. So be careful and do not anger these mighty birds.
9. Their nesting habits are minimal
With the reputation of being the fastest creature in the animal kingdom, you might think the peregrine falcon will have some unique way of building its nests. However, that is not the case. Their nests are simply a scrape in the dirt or gravel of a cliff or even a building. Recently they have also been spotted in urban areas.
10. They are formidable hunters
The Peregrine falcons are carnivores and can eat anything they are able to hunt down. These birds of prey can hunt hundreds of different types of species to eat. Hunting forms a major part of their character to the point that even their courtship includes it. Indeed formidable hunters.
11. The chicks have disproportionately large feet
Usually, a peregrine falcon will lay 5 dark brown speckled eggs. After about 30 days, the eggs hatch and the chicks are creamy-white in color. What is striking about these chicks is that they tend to have disproportionately large feet that almost look like they are artificially stuck.
They grow rapidly and both the parents need to get food for them. The chicks usually remain dependent on the parents for 2 months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What do peregrine falcons eat?
Peregrine falcons are carnivores and generally hunt and eat almost hundreds of different species of small animals like ducks, pigeons, fish and rodents.
Q. What are the peregrine falcons’ babies called?
The peregrine falcon babies are called eyases.
Q. Where do peregrine falcons live?
Peregrine falcons are usually found in a variety of habitats like mountains, forests and cities.
Q. How big is the peregrine falcon?
An adult peregrine falcon can be anywhere between 34-58 cm in size
Q. How fast can a peregrine falcon dive?
While diving, the peregrine falcons can clock an average of 242 miles per hour.
Q. How long do peregrine falcons live?
Peregrine falcons can live up to 15 years and sometimes longer.
For a very long time, I thought cheetahs were the fastest when it comes to the animal kingdom. However, that was broken today while doing my research on these amazing birds of prey. Peregrine falcons have made a comeback after almost going extinct and have now continued to thrive and increase in number.
That was it, folks! You have reached the end of the article, “11 Amazing Peregrine Falcon Facts for Kids”. Hope you and your little one enjoyed this article.