Falcons

Falcons

Species In This Category

About Falcons

A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptors in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica. Adult falcons have thin, tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly. Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which make their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a Broad-winged Hawk. This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults. The falcons are the largest genus in the Falconinae subfamily of Falconidae, which itself also includes another subfamily comprising caracaras and a few other species. All these birds kill with their beaks, using a "tooth" on the side of their beaks — unlike the hawks, eagles, and other birds of prey in Accipitridae, which use their feet. Seven species of falcons can be found at Carolina Raptor Center.

Falcon Facts

  1. As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.(1)
  2. Falcons are known for their super fast flying speeds and the Peregrine Falcon is recorded as the fastest flying bird as well as fastest moving creature on earth with a diving speed of 322km/hr.
  3. In February 2005, the Canadian ornithologist Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian intelligence in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. The falcon and corvids scored highest on this scale.
  4. In true falcons the female is the larger and bolder of the sexes and is preferred for the sport of falconry.
  5. Falcons have small bony protuberances in their nostrils that baffles air flow and allows them to breathe while flying at high speeds.
  6. Falcons have sharp, curved talons, used primarily for grasping prey. They use their powerful, hooked beak to sever the prey’s vertebral column.

Falcon Sources

  1. Source: Fox, R; Lehmkuhle, S.; Westendorf, D. (1976). "Falcon visual acuity". Science 192 (4236): 263–5. doi:10.1126/science.1257767
  2. Source: Difference Between a Hawk and a Falcon, Difference Between, Accessed January 8, 2016. Details here
  3. Source: Falcons, Avian Web, Beauty of Birds, Accessed January 8, 2016. Details here
  4. Source: Falcon, Bird, The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Accessed January 8, 2016. Details here
  5. Source: What is a Falcon, 10,000 Birds, Accessed January 6, 2016. Details here
  6. Source: Anderson, S., J. Squires. 1997. The Praire Falcon (Section 3-Prairie Falcons and Other Raptors). Austin: University of Texas Press.