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Peregrine Falcon Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Sarah Caughron

Sarah has a master's degree in Applied Anthropology/Archaeology and has worked in formal and informal education since 2006.

What bird is faster than a speeding car? It's a diving Peregrine Falcon! This lesson will teach you what a peregrine falcon is and how fast-flying bird lives.

What is a Peregrine Falcon?

The top speed of the average car is only 120 miles per hour. The peregrine falcon can reach a speed of over 200 miles per hour as it dives in the sky to catch its food. This skill makes this bird one of the fastest animals on the planet, and is generally considered to be the fastest!

In the wild, these fast-fliers can live up to 17 years. They are a medium-sized bird with an average wingspan of 3.5 feet and an average body size of 17 inches tall.

Peregrine falcons have sharp beaks and talons for catching and eating their prey.
Peregrine Falcon Drawing

The peregrine falcon is a bird of prey. It's part of a group of predatory birds that hunt, including owls, hawks, and eagles. These birds have a meat-only diet, meaning they are carnivores. The peregrine falcon eats other birds, and its favorite meals include pigeons, shorebirds, doves, and starlings.

They usually catch these birds in mid-air, using their super-speed to dive down and knock their prey out of the sky so it can be eaten on the ground. Sometimes they will chase the birds in the sky rather than diving. When they attack their prey, they stretch out their sharp talons, or claws.

In a dive, the peregrine falcon is the fastest animal in the world.
Peregrine Falcon

Where do Peregrine Falcons Live?

Peregrine falcons are very good at adapting to where they live. Because of this, they are found on all continents except Antarctica. They are at home in the desert, on the tundra, at the ocean, or even in crowded cities where they roost in skyscrapers or under bridges.

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