Falcons are the birds of prey and widely distributed in all the continents except Antarctica. Falcons are known for their incredible speed and hunting abilities. Peregrine Falcon has the fastest speeds on the planet when it’s diving for prey. The recorded speed of the peregrine Falcon during the prey is up to 200mph.
When we talk about the Falcons of the United States, there are different types of Falcons found in the United States. The fastest speed Falcon on the planet “Peregrine Falcon” also belongs to the United States. Let’s see the eight mostly found Falcons of the United States.
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The 8 types of Falcons in the United States
The 8 mostly found Falcons of the United States can be seen in different parts of America. They also migrate in different areas depending upon the season. Let’s know more about them in detail.
1. Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon is one of those species of the Falcons which can be found all over the world. You can easily locate this Falcon all over the United States. They have a habit of making the nest on tall buildings, so you can easily locate them in the cities as well. They become local celebrities due to their nesting habits. You can differentiate the individuals and sexes with a little bit of color difference. The male and females both have a slate grey/bluish-black back with faint barring. There are some dark lines on the chest with white to tan color. The size of the female Falcons is usually larger than the males.
Yes, the cheetah can reach up to the speed of 75 mph on the ground, but when it’s come to peregrine dive, it can reach up to the speed of 200mph. Falcons love to eat the other bird species. There are 450 different species recorded as the Falcon’s diet. They are usually not specific; they can pick the ducks, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds. Sometimes they also kill the small Hummingbirds as well.
A peregrine Falcon can have a length of 13 to 23 inches with 12 to 53oz weight. Their wingspan is 29 to 47 inches.
2. American kestrel
This is the smallest Falcon in the United States, which has only the size of an American Robin. But it’s an accomplished hunter like the other Falcons irrespective of its size. It is also known as Sparrow Hawn in the United States. This name is given to it due to its sparrow and other birds of that size hunting skills. It can take these size birds right out of the air. These are also very common to see all over the United States. Their diet includes insects, invertebrates, small rodents, and other birds. They can easily be found from central Alaska down to the southernmost tip of South America.
Males and Females American Kestrels looks completely different as compared to the other Falcons. The males have quite a blue and grey wing area with white bellies and black barring flanks. The back of the males is rust-colored with brown barring. The female American kestrel has rusty-colored backs and wings with brown barring. Their bellies are tan with brown streaks. The male and female have interchangeable sexes. They are very friendly with humans sometimes use human-made boxes to raise their young. You can easily found in many habitats of America. Their numbers have been gradually decreasing in America, so make sure to give them the help you can.
The American kestrel length can vary from 9 to 12 inches, with 2.8 to 5.8 pounds weight. Their wingspan is 20 to 24 inches.
This is another smaller species of the falcons in the United States, which is a little bit uncommon as compared to the above falcon species. Their size is a little larger than the American kestrel. They have stockier build, sharply pointed wings, and medium-length tail. The male Merlin back and wings are streaky black to silver-grey with a light color chest. Usually, the females are lighter than the males, with brown-grey to dark brown on the back. The colors of the male and female merlin changes depending upon their range.
You can found a Merlin everywhere in North America, and many of the Merlin travel to the south when the weather gets cold. There are only a few places in the United States where you can see the Merlin the whole year. Their wingbeats are very rapid and can be identified by these beats. Sometimes Merlin is seen to attack the cars and trains that are entering their territories. These birds produce a sound like “Klee-Klee” when they are showing aggression. The wide variety of merlin foods include smaller birds, dragonflies, moths, bats, voles, and reptiles. The smaller bird prey list of the Merlin includes the Sparrows, sandpipers, larks, pipits, and even the pigeons. Like many other falcons, Merlin also doesn’t build their nests and use the nests of other birds.
The Merlin Length can vary from 9 to 13 inches with 4.4 to 10.6oz weight. The wingspan of the Merlin is 21 to 23 inches.
4. Prairie Falcon
Prairie Falcons are usually found in the openness of the west. The most favorite habitat of the Prairie falcon is the grasslands, shrubby deserts, farm fields, and pastures. You can’t locate them if too many trees are around. Prairie falcon is a lighter bird and requires less food as compared to the similar-looking peregrine falcons. You can found this bird in the western half of the United States and some parts of Canada and Mexico. These birds are usually observed to create “Kik-Kik-Kik-Kik” sound when they are defending their territories.
They love to eat anything which they can easily catch depending upon the season. For example, during the summer, they eat small mammals like ground squirrels, etc. During the winter season, they beat the other birds like Horned Larks, Western Meadowlarks. They have a segmented appearance like a turtle shell with a pale brown back. They have a white chest, dark brown stripes, plain white neck, and lighter color tail.
Prairie falcon length can vary from 14.5 to 18.5 inches, with 15 to 39oz weight. The wingspan of the prairie falcon is 33.5 to 44.5.
The first thing about the Gyrfalcon is the pronunciation of the Gyrfalcons. Many people pronounce them as “Gear-falcon,” which is an incorrect way. The correct way to pronounce the Gyrfalcon is “JER-falcon. Gyrfalcon is the largest species of falcons in the world. These birds are known as the birds of the Arctic, which breeds on the sides of the cliffs. They are safe from humans as they live in secluded areas. The color range of the Gyrfalcon varies from white to very dark. There is no difference in the males and females colors. The only difference is in size; the females are larger than the males.
Gyrfalcons like to eat everything they can catch. The list of their food includes the hares, ground squirrels, young arctic foxes, lemmings, songbirds, shorebirds, seabirds, waterfowl, and even the raptors like owls, hawks, and peregrine falcons. They usually produce a “kak-kak-kak” sound.
Gyrfalcon length can vary from 19 to 26 inches, with a 1.75 to 5lbs weight difference. The wingspan of the Gyrfalcon is 43 to 63 inches.
6. Aplomado Falcon
Aplomado Falcon is very beautiful due to its colors. This is the species of falcons that are in danger nowadays. The main problem of this is the degradation of their natural habitat. They only rely upon the grasslands. Luckily around 1500, Aplomado falcons are reintroduced in the southwest, and these individuals are now breeding and expanding. But there is a need to do more work to help these birds. They love to catch the sparrows and doves for breakfast. Usually, the Aplomado falcons hunt in pairs. They produce the sound like “Kek-Kek-Kek-Kek” in a chain.
They like to raise their young’s on multiple locations like tall yucca trees, power pole cross beams, or even right on the dirt. Moreover, They don’t build their own nests and choose the unoccupied nest of the crows, jays, hawks, ravens, or magpies.
The Aplomado Falcon varies in length from 14 to 18 inches with 6 to 14oz weight. The wingspan of the Aplomado falcons is 30 to 36 inches.
7. Cuban American kestrel
As clear from the name, it’s a sub-species of the American Kestrel, which is commonly seen in North America. The appearance of the Cuban American kestrel is somehow similar to the American kestrel with a little difference in the white breast. This is a very commonly seen bird in Cuba and many islands in the Caribbean Sea. It belongs to the family of “Falconidae.”
The body length of these falcons is around 12.2 inches with 5.8oz weight. The wingspan of the Cuban American kestrel falcon is 24 inches.
8. Collared forest falcon
The collared forest falcon is a common inhabitant of rainforests in Latin America. They like to hide in the dense forest canopy. Their most favorite nesting place is the cavities of Spanish cedar trees. They have dark color back with white on neck and breast. Usually, the females are bigger than males. They love to eat birds, mammals, lizards, snakes, and insects.
The body length of the collared forest falcon varies from 18 to 23 inches with a weight of 17 to 23oz. The wingspan of the collared forest falcon is 28 to 34 inches.