Falcons are any of the 37 species of carnivorous raptors that eat mainly a warm-blooded diet. Though smaller versions of the falcon will eat bugs, lizards and other tiny fare, many of the larger species, like peregrine falcons, are notorious for a diet based solely of other birds.
How Do Falcons Hunt?
Most falcons have keen eyesight that allows them to hone in on prey from above, long before the prey knows it’s being watched.
The first strike of a falcon will often be from above and behind, with the falcon plummeting to strike its prey with a half-closed foot, like a punch. Then, with the prey stunned and potentially injured or dead, the falcon can return on a second pass to retrieve its meal after it’s fallen to the ground or even as it’s still falling. In other attacks, like those instigated by peregrine falcons, the prey might just be snatched out of the air with no first strike needed at all.
Though other falcons will eat considerably less, an adult peregrine will eat about 2.5 oz. in a day; about the same weight as two adult blackbirds.
“Peregrine Watch – Falcon Frequently Ask Questions.” Peregrine Watch – Falcon Frequently Ask Questions. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. http://falconcam.travelers.com/falcon-faqs.html
“Peregrine Falcon.” National Geographic. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Dec. 2012. http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/peregrine-falcon/
“Peregrine Falcon, Life History, All About Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology.” Your online guide to birds and bird watching. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Peregrine_Falcon/lifehistory