What Do Falcons Eat?
Posted In: Birds.
Falcon, an avivore, is a bird of prey that can be trained to hunt other birds and animals. These falcons eat small birds, raw meat, and live animals such as mice and rodents. Young falcons are trained in order to hunt and they start by going after dragonflies and other large bugs.
The most common falcon found in North America, the American kestrel and the “flying machine”, the Peregrine falcon.
About the Peregrine falcon
The Peregrine falcon is known to be one of the fastest flying birds, that’s why it is also known as the “flying machine”. These birds are capable of diving and stooping at the speed of over 200 miles per hour. Peregrines falcon trap the birds while flying and usually eat those birds as their feed. The prey of falcons includes ducks, pigeons and pheasants. Peregrine falcons weigh around the same as a crow. The female falcons are bigger in size than the males, and are just as powerful as compared to the male falcons. Adult falcons have dark grey colored wings and backs, barred with pale undersides, black and white faces, large, dark eyes, and with a black stripe on each cheek. These falcons have long and pointed wings. They also have the ability to look, in a nutshell, fast.
They start flying at a young age
At just forty days of age, Peregrine falcons are able to fly. The parents of young falcons will encourage their young ones to attack the young birds of other species for food. This entire process, when the parent falcon tries to teach their child how to get the prey, and the young falcon is chasing other birds for the feed, is really interesting to watch. Actually, Peregrine falcon are famous for their fast diving and stooping to get the prey. Due to their fast-flying ability, they use to hunt and eat little birds.
How do they hunt other birds?
The typical process of catching the prey is that they fly above the prey, then fold their wings in and dive on that bird and then try to retrieve that dead bird in midair. Urban Peregrine falcons will hunt and eat pigeons along with other species that are available to eat.
How much do they eat?
A Peregrine falcon eats one quail-sized bird per day, or it can eat more than one depending upon the prey. The falcon’s prey animal list actually includes more than 200 species. On any day, a Peregrine falcon might eat at most two or more sparrow sized birds, or part of a duck, or a pigeon, to meet its nutritional needs. On the other hand, falcon chicks eat considerably more than this daily so they can grow quickly.
How about water?
The Peregrine falcon actually gets its water intake from the prey or the food they eat. Although they do like to drink water from ponds or lakes if they think it’s a secure place. Another interesting fact about the falcons is that the chicks communicate hunger through vocalization and the adult falcons respond to them.