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Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcon
Falco mexicanus
Hawk-like Birds | Family: Falcons, Falconidae

This species regularly occurs in North America's boreal forest during breeding, migration, or wintering.



The Prairie Falcon is usually found in places far from water, while the Peregrine is nearly always found near a river or lake. The Prairie Falcon's diet consists mainly of birds, which it pursues on the wing but usually captures on or near the ground. Where elevated perches are available, the Prairie Falcon will spend a considerable amount of time watching for prey. In open country without high perches, the style of hunting is to fly low above the ground and flush prey.


17-20" (43-51 cm). W. 3' 6" (1.1 m). A large falcon, sandy brown above, whitish or pale buff below with fine spots and streaks, narrow brown "mustache" stripe, and dark wing linings.


A loud kree-kree-kree, most often heard near nest.


4 or 5 white or pinkish eggs, blotched with brown, placed without a nest on a cliff ledge or in the abandoned nest of some other large bird.


Barren mountains, dry plains, and prairies.


Breeds from British Columbia and Canadian prairie provinces south to Mexico and northern Texas. Winters in breeding range and sparingly farther east.