A large, dark, powerful falcon with long, pointed wings and a long, narrow, tapered tail. Plumage is similar between the sexes, but females are larger.
The Peregrine Falcon has a black hood that extends down along the side of the head in a distinctive wide mustache mark. Upper parts of the bird are a dark slate-gray and lightly barred; underparts are a whitish color at the throat, shading to a buffy color with elongated spots on the chest, and more dark barring across the abdomen; legs and feet of the adult are bright yellow. Like all other members of the falcon family, the Peregrine has a distinct notch in the upper mandible for cervical dislocation of its prey.
This falcon flies with smooth, shallow, powerful wing beats, often soaring high with wings out flat and tail fanned when searching for prey, then diving and maneuvering at high speed to strike birds in midair. Peregrines are capable of gliding and flapping speeds up to 60 mph, and of reaching speeds up to 200 mph in spectacular dives called stoops.
We got to meet Freya, one of CRC’s resident falcons close up on Anna’s class field trip. We each took a photo.
I was in the back and used the zoom lens on Julia’s camera. Anna didn’t need a zoom lens. She was in the front row and got to see Freya up close.
When the keeper talked about the dark feathers under the falcon’s eyes and how they help her see—sort of like eye-black—Anna compared them to the dark stripes under the cheetahs eyes.