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Please note: On Wednesday April 24 at Franklin Park Zoo and Thursday, April 25 at Stone Zoo, volunteers, zoo employees and local emergency responders will take part in routine animal escape exercises. While the exercise is occurring, guests have the opportunity to participate in the evacuation portion, and may be asked to move to certain areas within the Zoo for a brief period of time (not to exceed 10 minutes). These exercises are an important part of our preparedness training, and we appreciate your participation and understanding. If you have any questions about what to expect, please don't hesitate to contact us at 617-989-2000 or

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Peregrine Falcon

Falco peregrinus

Peregrinefalcon Gallery

About the Peregrine Falcon

conservation status: least concern

Class: Aves  
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae  
Genus: Falco  
Species: peregrinus

Peregrine falcons have streamlined, "torpedo-shaped" bodies that help them dive at speeds over 200 miles per hour. Powerful beaks, talons and eyesight allow them to spot and capture prey with great precision. These falcons nest on cliffs and have even been known to nest on the sides of city buildings.

Peregrine Falcon Facts


Peregrine falcons have streamlined bodies with long, pointed wings. Females are larger than males, as seen in other birds of prey species. They have slate-colored, barred plumage and creamy white chests. Their sharp beak is pale blue and their feet are bright yellow. They have a distinctive black line under their eyes that helps them deflect sunlight. Falcons have streamlined, "torpedo-shaped" bodies that help them dive at speeds over 200 miles per hour. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot prey easily, and strong talons enable them to grab prey out of the air.


  • Wingspan: Male, 38 inches; Female, 44 inches
  • Weight: Male, 1 - 1.5 pounds; Female, 1.5 - 2 pounds


Peregrine falcons feed on a diet of small to medium-sized birds, particularly ducks and pigeons, in the wild.


Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals in the world. They've been clocked at over 200 miles per hour while diving to capture prey.


Peregrine falcons form strong pair bonds. They stay paired indefinitely, though re-pairings do occur occasionally. They nest on cliffs and have been known to nest on the sides of city buildings. An average of three to four eggs are incubated by both parents for 28 days, and hatchlings fledge after 25-42 days.

Life Expectancy:

Females live up to 20 years, and male lifespan is unknown.


Peregrine falcons are found on every continent except Antarctica. Generally, they inhabit open areas with high cliffs near water. Some falcons migrate to southern latitudes during the winter months, but most live year round within their home range.