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: Breeds mostly in the White Mountains, with a few further north and one to the south in Manchester.  May be seen during fall migration which peaks in early-mid October.

Description: 14-19” long with a 39-43” wingspan. Blue-gray back, barred white or buff color underneath, and a dark head with black sideburns.

Voice:kak, kak, kak

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.

Nesting: Peregrine falcons begin breeding at one year of age and pairs mate for life.  Females nest March - May and lay 2-5 eggs. Young hatch after about 30 days of incubation.  Chicks are able to fly when they are 35-42 days old.

Diet: 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 which they catch in flight.

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

More information:


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