Falcons are powerful birds found living all over the world. In the United States, peregrine falcons are the most common species. While these birds were near extinction in the late 1960’s, their populations have increased and the falcon was removed from the federal endangered species list in 1999. Today falcons must battle pollution, predatory animals and diseases in order to survive.
Several species of falcons live in the United States such as Alaska, Mexico and the Northwestern states. Antarctica and the Pacific Islands are the only two areas of the world falcons do not exist. Falcons begin to migrate in September, heading south for the winter months.
Falcons prefer open living spaces, where there is a constant supply of food. However, they may also be found in urban areas where they make their nest on the sides of buildings and underneath bridges.
Young falcons stay with their parents until they are several weeks old. During this time, the parents teach hatchlings how to fly and ways to hunt for their food. Falcons feed primarily on birds such as ducks and pigeons. These birds catch their prey in mid-air and kill it before landing to consume it. In urban settings, falcons feed mainly on lizards, fish and small rodents.
“Species profile: Minnesota DNR.” Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: Minnesota DNR. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=ABNKD06070
“Falcons – Life Cycle.” PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 3 Dec. 2012. http://www.pbs.org/falconer/falcons/lifecycle.htm