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Etymology[ edit ] The Late Latin falco is believed to derive from falx as meaning a sicklereferencing the claws of the bird. In Middle English and Old French, the term faucon refers generically to several captive raptor species.
Some sources give the etymology as deriving from the fact that a male falcon is about one-third smaller than a female    Old French tiercelet. A falcon chick, especially one reared for falconrystill in its downy stage, is known as an eyas   sometimes spelled eyass.
The word arose by mistaken division of Old French un niais, from Latin presumed nidiscus nestling from nidus nest. The technique of hunting with trained captive birds of prey is known as falconry. Systematics and evolution[ edit ] Compared to other birds of prey, the fossil record of the falcons is not well distributed in time.
The oldest fossils tentatively assigned to this genus are from the Late Mioceneless than 10 million years ago. The falcon lineage may, however, be somewhat older than this,[ citation needed ] and given the distribution of fossil and living Falco taxais probably of North American, African, or possibly Middle Eastern or European origin.
Overview[ edit ] Falcons are roughly divisible into three or four groups. The first contains the kestrels probably excepting the American kestrel ;  usually small and stocky falcons of mainly brown upperside color and sometimes sexually dimorphic; three African species that are generally gray in color stand apart from the typical members of this group.
Let’s read these wonderful peregrine falcon facts for kids such as peregrine falcon habitat, diet, reproduction and species. The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). Background: Five Peregrine Falcon chicks hatched between May 12 and May 14 in the nest box on the Kodak tower in Rochester, New York. On June 11, , a satellite transmitter was placed on one of the young males, named Hafoc (pronounced HAV-oc), after the Old English word for falcon or hawk, dating back to a period between the 6th and 12th centuries. List of animals by speed; Rank Animal Maximum speed Class Notes 1 Peregrine falcon: km/h ( mph) Flight The peregrine falcon is the fastest aerial animal, fastest animal in flight, fastest bird, and the overall fastest member of the animal benjaminpohle.com peregrine achieves its highest velocity not in horizontal level flight, but during its .
Kestrels feed chiefly on terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates of appropriate size, such as rodentsreptilesor insects. The second group contains slightly larger on average species, the hobbies and relatives. These birds are characterized by considerable amounts of dark slate-grey in their plumage; their malar areas are nearly always black.
They feed mainly on smaller birds. Third are the peregrine falcon and its relatives, variably sized powerful birds that also have a black malar area except some very light color morphsand often a black cap, as well.
Otherwise, they are somewhat intermediate between the other groups, being chiefly medium gray with some lighter or brownish colors on their upper sides. They are, on average, more delicately patterned than the hobbies and, if the hierofalcons are excluded see belowthis group typically contains species with horizontal barring on their undersides.
As opposed to the other groups, where tail color varies much in general but little according to evolutionary relatedness, [note 1] However, the fox and greater kestrels can be told apart at first glance by their tail colors, but not by much else; they might be very close relatives and are probably much closer to each other than the lesser and common kestrels.
The tails of the large falcons are quite uniformly dark gray with inconspicuous black banding and small, white tips, though this is probably plesiomorphic. These large Falco species feed on mid-sized birds and terrestrial vertebrates.
Very similar to these, and sometimes included therein, are the four or so species of hierofalcons literally, "hawk-falcons". They represent taxa with, usually, more phaeomelaninswhich impart reddish or brown colors, and generally more strongly patterned plumage reminiscent of hawks. Their undersides have a lengthwise pattern of blotches, lines, or arrowhead marks.
While these three or four groups, loosely circumscribed, are an informal arrangement, they probably contain several distinct clades in their entirety. A study of mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data of some kestrels  identified a clade containing the common kestrel and related " malar -striped" species, to the exclusion of such taxa as the greater kestrel which lacks a malar stripethe lesser kestrel which is very similar to the common, but also has no malar stripeand the American kestrel, which has a malar stripe, but its color pattern—apart from the brownish back—and also the black feathers behind the ear, which never occur in the true kestrels, are more reminiscent of some hobbies.
The malar-striped kestrels apparently split from their relatives in the Gelasianroughly 2. The entire "true kestrel" group—excluding the American species—is probably a distinct and quite young cladeas also suggested by their numerous apomorphies.
Most members of the genus Falco show a "tooth" on the upper mandible Other studies      have confirmed that the hierofalcons are a monophyletic group—and that hybridization is quite frequent at least in the larger falcon species.
Initial studies of mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data suggested that the hierofalcons are basal among living falcons.
Very little fossil history exists for this lineage. However, the present diversity of very recent origin suggests that this lineage may have nearly gone extinct in the recent past.
Molecular studies have only been conducted on a few species, and the morphologically ambiguous taxa have often been little researched. The morphology of the syrinxwhich contributes well to resolving the overall phylogeny of the Falconidae  is not very informative in the present genus.
Nonetheless, a core group containing the peregrine and Barbary falcons, which, in turn, group with the hierofalcons and the more distant prairie falcon which was sometimes placed with the hierofalcons, though it is entirely distinct biogeographicallyas well as at least most of the "typical" hobbies, are confirmed to be monophyletic as suspected.Etymology.
The Late Latin falco is believed to derive from falx as meaning a sickle, referencing the claws of the benjaminpohle.com Middle English and Old French, the term faucon refers generically to several captive raptor species..
The traditional term for a male falcon is "tercel" (British spelling) or "tiercel" (American spelling), from the Latin tertius because . The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the peregrine, and historically as the duck hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey (raptor) in the family Falconidae.
A large, crow -sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head. The Canadian Peregrine Foundation.
History. THE PEREGRINE FALCON: Humans have long admired the beauty and prowess of the peregrine falcon. Several thousands of years ago the sport of falconry had its origins in China, as evidenced through depictions of peregrines together with humans.
Recent Publications by The Peregrine Fund. This is a partial list of publications, both peer-reviewed and popular, that have been published by staff, students, and grantees. Nestbox camera at a peregrine falcon nest in Jersey City, New Jersey by Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ.
Likewise, a Peregrine Falcon uses proportional navigation by making slight adjustments in wing position and speed before the moment of impact.
How the raptor assesses the path to the target is unclear, but researchers predict it’s probably through a combination of inertial and visual sensors.