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Photo by Tom Grey

Bird of the Month: Peregrine Falcon

Become a bird expert! Every month we feature a different bird species of the San Francisco Bay Area. You can learn how to identify local birds and find out fun facts about our amazing feathered friends. Click on the pictures at the bottom of the page to learn about birds from previous months, and check back each month to see the latest species of interest!

Name: Peregrine Falcon

Size: about 1 1/2 feet

Wingspan: 3-3 1/2 feet

Diet: Small and medium size birds like doves, pigeons, shorebirds and waterfowl

Behavior: Stoops or dives to catch prey at speeds up to 200 mph. Will make repeated U shaped dives. Is a solitary bird.

Habitat: Open habitats in grasslands, seacoasts, mountains, forests, bridges and tall buildings, especially near water.

Fun Facts: Has a handsome mustache on its face. Flys at a height of over one mile above the ground

Status: Once was endangered because of thinning of the eggshell due to the use of DDT. Thanks to captive breeding efforts and the ban on DDT, populations have increased, and it is not longer endangered.

Migratory Route: Year round resident in Alaska and Washington. Others migrate along the California coast.