A-z - Animals

falcon

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falcon one

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Hayabusa are faster than any other animal on earth, both on land and in the air!

Famous for their precision and speed, hawks hunt for food like any bird of prey.

Falcons, rather than one type of bird, actually include 40 different species with specific characteristics that make each one unique.

Even though there are many different types of falcons, this bird family is totally considered the fastest living animal. Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds in excess of 200 miles per hour!

Hayabusa are closely related to eagles, sharing the same ferocity and quick reflexes. Their streamlined bodies reveal slender, pointed wings. With their agility, these birds can often catch prey mid-flight.



falcon and eagle

falcon and eagle
falcon and eagle

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As close as falcons are to hawks, there are a number of features that clearly distinguish them. Falcons may have broad, long wings, but hawks have much shorter wings, which is the easiest way to tell them apart in the air. Despite their wingspan, eagles tend to be larger than falcons.

Speed is another major difference between a falcon and a hawk. The speed of the hawk is unbelievable, and the eagle cannot match it. They're not nearly as fast, so can't glide through the air in the same way.
The way the birds catch their prey also varies. Falcons hunt their prey with their beaks while eagles catch their prey with their talons.

Different Types of Falcons

  • Kestrel
  • peregrine falcon
  • Merlin
  • crabapple
  • falcon
  • American Kestrel
  • Eurasian hobby
  • Northeast Falcon
  • Prairie Falcon
  • Lanner Falcon
  • black falcon
  • barbary falcon
  • brown falcon
  • Little Kestrel
  • Eleonora's Falcon
  • bat falcon
  • Aplomado Falcon
  • fox kestrel
  • trailing falcon
  • red-necked falcon
  • australian hobby
  • Taita Falcon
  • banded kestrel
  • madagascar kestrel
  • Seychelles Kestrel
  • Dickinson Kestrel
  • red-footed falcon
  • Gray Falcon
  • new zealand falcon
  • Sooty Falcon
  • Orange-breasted Falcon
  • Southern Kestrel
  • Mauritius Kestrel
  • Great Kestrel
  • spotted kestrel
  • gray kestrel
  • oriental hobby
  • african hobby

evolution and origin

Falcons evolved from generalized birds of prey during the Eocene epoch, 50 to 35 million years ago. Modern species of the American Falcon belong to the group of Peregrine Falcons. The evolutionary process succeeded through the so-called All-North Zone. They probably originated in central Eurasia.

Furthermore, through analysis of the genome, the scientists determined that the peregrine falcon and the saker falcon shared a common ancestor about 2.1 million years ago. Although compared to other raptors, the fossil record of falcons is sparse.

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Amazing Falcon Bird Facts!

most dangerous bird
A peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) spreads its wings on a tree stump. These birds are the fastest animals in the world.

© Chris Hill/Shutterstock.com

  • The fastest animal on Earth is the peregrine falcon, which can reach speeds of 242 miles per hour. It is almost four times faster than the fastest land animal, the cheetah.
  • These birds can catch food with their beaks in flight.
  • Falcons have incredible eyesight, which is why they are able to catch food with such ease. They can look for both regular and ultraviolet colors, beyond the range of humans.
  • The cardiovascular system of hawks allows them to beat their wings at a speed of 5 m/s.

You can read more incredible facts about falcons here.

where to find falcons

Types of Hayabusa
During hunting, pairs of Aplomado falcons often pass food to each other in flight.

© Jay Pierstorff/Shutterstock.com

Hayabusa seem to be found all over the world, including areas from the United States to the tundra. Each species seems to have its own preferred areas to inhabit. For example, the American kestrel migrates throughout the continental United States, sharing its homeland with the peregrine falcon. They will also travel to Alaska and Hawaii.

Peregrine falcons love to travel to farther continents and can feel comfortable even in the desert. However, the only area this bird does not inhabit is Antarctica, as they are used to extreme temperatures.

In their natural habitat, hawks nest in tree cavities, cliffs and natural ledges.

scientific name

Types of Hayabusa
Types of Hayabusa

© Chris Hill/Shutterstock.com

The scientific name of the falcon is Falconiformes. They belong to the kingdom Animalia and the phylum Chordate. Their class is called Aves, and their order is called Falconiformes. Their genus is called Falco.

The name "Eagle" has French and English origins, from the word "faucon". The bird, whose Latin word falconem comes from the word falx, was named for its resemblance of physical features such as talons, beak and wings to a curved blade.

Bird size, appearance and behavior

falcon

© John O'Neill/Creative Commons

Hayabusa can reach a length of 13 to 23 inches and weigh about 1.5 to 3.3 pounds. Most of these raptors range in size from small to medium, and their heads are adorned with a crown of black feathers. This blackness also extends to their underpiles and wedges, linking the colors to look like a helmet on the bird's head.

Long, pointed wings, these features are usually slate gray in contrast to the head. Along the throat, the plumage is white to nearly cream, with brown and black stripes on either side of the belly.

Falcon birds tend to be solitary, congregating mainly during mating season and not at other times of the year. The rest of the time, the birds rest or forage for food in the tops of tall trees. Most species will hunt during the day, taking advantage of any opportunity of sunlight (even at dusk and dawn) to hunt.

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Falcons migrate seasonally, seeking out milder areas during winter when the weather gets colder. Migratory species usually travel to Central or South America, but some only travel to the southern United States.

Interestingly, some of them don't migrate at all. When it comes to their homes, falcons are very territorial. They will fight and attack to defend their resting place, protecting themselves and their young from humans, birds and other animals.

Lanner falcons land on the water's edge in the Kalahari

© Neil Cooper/Shutterstock.com

diet

Falcons eat ducks, shorebirds, gulls, and pigeons.

These birds are carnivorous, which means they eat mostly meat in their diet. Their preferred sources of nutrition vary by species, but they're not picky; for the most part, they'll just look for foods they can catch easily without too much work.

The Falcons don't often chase big games. Rodents, small reptiles and small amphibians are the most common sources of nutrition.

Predators and Threats

Like many creatures, these birds tend to have their own plethora of predators and other threats to their lives. Both humans and wolves are dangerous to Hayabusa populations, although their predatory traits place them fairly high on the food chain.

Great owls will seek out birds that are young and inexperienced in defense. More often than not, however, animals that feed on falcons eat their eggs and young to cope with smaller challenges, since they are not yet able to defend themselves without the help of their parents.

Even though these birds are considered "least concern" on the endangered species list, there are numerous laws protecting these birds (and hawks and hawks) from being hunted for meat.

What do hawks eat?

The food sources these birds eat depend entirely on what they can lift and catch. As fast as most rodents, falcons will seek out rats, rats, and even rabbits. If another bird is small enough to be caught by the falcon's sharp beak, these birds will also seek them out.

Additionally, they eat snakes and frogs, although these animals may have defenses against predators.

What eats falcons?

As mentioned above, wolves and great owls are known to feed on falcons. However, they are not usually prey in the wild.

Although humans are a threat, most sources say it's not good to eat them. Their bodies usually don't have any fat, making the meat quite dry due to their physical activity. Also, the main problem with consuming falcon meat is the legal aspects of hunting the birds.

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Bird Reproduction, Babies, and Lifespan

Chick Falcon Peregrine Falcon. Yamal, Russia.
Chick Falcon Peregrine Falcon. Yamal, Russia.

©Fufachew Ivan Andreevich/Shutterstock.com

Most falcon birds are monogamous, meaning they have only one mating partner. They usually mark the territory around the nesting site when mating.

Female falcons are solely responsible for incubating the babies, known as chicks. They care for the babies while the male falcons hunt for food.

Each cluster contains about two to four eggs. The incubation period for falcon cubs is about one month. However, different species of baby falcons take different times to start flying.

The average lifespan of a falcon is about 13 years. At most, they live about 16 to 20 years.

population

The total number of falcons worldwide is currently unknown, but overall their conservation status is considered to be of "least concern". Recent estimates indicate that there are approximately 140,000 falcons in the world.

However, peregrine falcons were once considered endangered more than 50 years ago when the use of certain pesticides killed off large populations.

Since DDT, one of the deadliest pesticides, was banned, peregrine falcons have thrived and their nesting areas are now protected.

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Falcons are carnivores, which means they eat other animals.

Falcons belong to the animal kingdom.

Falcons belong to the class of birds.

Falcons belong to the phylum Chordate.

The falcon is a small to medium game bird that is known to hunt its prey very quickly.

There are 40 different species of falcons in the world.

Different species of falcons are found in several places including Alaska, Hawaii and New York City.

Although falcons and hawks are closely related, there are some differences between the two.

Falcons will only attack humans and other birds and animals when they sense their nests are threatened.

Certain species of falcons are known to be seasonal migrants.

Each cluster has about two to four eggs.

Falcons have been known to fly at 242 miles per hour.

Some falcons have a wingspan of about 74 to 120 centimeters.

Different species of falcons take different times to leave the nest.

Falcons belong to the Falconidae family.

Falcons belong to the order Falconiformes.

Falcons are covered with feathers.

Falcons belong to the genus Falcon.

Falcons prey on birds, rabbits and bats.

Predators of falcons include humans, hawks, owls and wolves.

Falcons have sharp beaks and an aerodynamic body shape.

Falcons can live 12 to 18 years.

Falcons have a wingspan of 74 to 120 cm.

Falcons lay eggs.