Peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Photos by Chris Martin, NH Audubon

peregrine falcons (c) Chris Martin

peregrine falcons (c) Chris Martin

Falcon cam! Live from Manchester:

NH Conservation Status: Threatened

Federal Status: Not listed

Peregrine falcons are legally protected in New Hampshire. Possession and take (which includes harming, harassing, injuring and killing) is illegal.

Distribution: Statewide, primarily in mountains, urban areas, and coastal marshes

Description: Approximately 3.5’ wingspan with blue-gray back, barred white or buff colored underneath, and a black tear stripe on head.

Commonly Confused Species: Merlins are similar in color but smaller in size.

Habitat: Found in a variety of habitats, most with cliffs for nesting and open areas for foraging. Also found in large cities where it nests on buildings.

Life History: Peregrine falcons begin breeding at one year of age and pairs mate for life.  Females lay 2-5 eggs in the spring and young hatch after about 30 days of incubation.  Chicks are able to fly when they are 35-42 days old. Peregrines feed mostly on medium-sized birds, but may also prey on small mammals and reptiles.  It is a very fast flier especially in pursuit of prey. 

Distribution map: Click here for a map showing the towns where this species is reported to occur in NH.

For more information:


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