Types of Falcons – There are various types of falcons, all known for being birds of prey. They have specific flight techniques that offer them the ability to attack ground animals or other birds that are in flight while they themselves are flying. Most are characterized by their slender bodies, short tails, hooked beaks and extraordinary wings.
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1. Peregrine Falcon
These types of falcons are virtually the fastest animals on the planet and can dive at speeds of 240 miles per hour. They are found along coastlines, mountain ranges and sometimes cities, located in mild-winter regions.
Their life span is around 15 years and over 2000 bird species, as well as many other animals are predated by them. They hunt at dusk and dawn and house special shock waves to keep from damaging their lungs at their violent speeds. Additionally, they portray a third eyelid to keep debris from compromising clear vision.
2. Common Kestrel
This species is characterized by their chestnut brown body and blackish spots. The females of these types of falcons are the larger and more decorated birds which are quite often the case in birds of prey.
This species has the ability to see ultraviolet light that allows them to detect urine trails found around rodent burrows. They feed primarily on smaller mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, bats, lizards and frogs. However, they do not pass up the opportunity to eat termites, beetles, spiders and worms either.
3. Saker Falcon
These are very large types of falcons that can portray a wingspan of over four feet. They are shades of contrasting gray and brown and prefer open grasslands with a few tall trees or cliffs. These raptors hunt horizontally, feeding mostly on birds and rodents. They do not build their own nest; instead they use an old nest belonging to ravens, storks or buzzards to lay their eggs. These remarkable birds are on the endangered list.
4. American Kestrel
These birds, commonly called “Sparrow Hawks” are found across North and South America. They live in diverse habitats such as suburbs, parks, grasslands, marshes, plains, prairies, deserts and even highway corridors.
They are the only falcon to beat their wings rapidly while hovering, yet not move their head one bit, searching for their prey. Most of their diet is made up of dragonflies, grasshoppers, lizards, voles, mice and small birds.
5. Red-necked Falcon
These are medium-sized types of falcons, found primarily in semi-desert regions or dry open countries. They will often perch in a tree and watch for birds or insects to fly by to chase.
They are known to hunt in pairs at dusk and dawn utilizing a special technique where one falcon will fly low, forcing small birds into flight and the other falcon will fly high, capturing the prey.
6. Pigeon Hawk
Commonly called “Merlin” also, these are smaller falcons and in comparison to other falcons, they have a heavier build. They prefer open country areas such as parks, grasslands, prairies but can adapt to forests as long as they are not too dense.
They rely on their agility and speed to hunt for their prey and they often do this quite close to the ground, however they really enjoy catching birds in flight. Pigeon hawks are not really fearful of anything and have been reported try to “catch” trains or automobiles.
They feed on bats, voles, reptiles, dragonflies, moths and even Rock Pigeons that are their identical size. In general, other carnivorous birds usually avoid these falcons, they may be smaller but their agility and aggressiveness is not something readily tampered with.