764. Peregrine Falcon.
Falco peregrinus, Tunstall, Orn. Brit. p. 1 (1771) ; Naum. i. p. 285, Taf. 24, 25 ; Hewitson, i. p. 24, pl. viii. ; Gould, B. of E. i. pl, 21 ; id. B. of Gt. Brit. i. pl. 17 ; Newton, i. p. 53 ; Dresser, vi. p. 31, pl. 372 ; Ridg. p. 247 ; Blanf. F. Brit. Ind. Birds, iii. p. 413 ; Saunders, p. 347 ; Lilford, i. p. 40, pls. 19, 20 ; F. communis, Gmel. Syst. Nat. i. p. 270 (1788) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 376 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 77 ; F. anatum, Bp. Comp. List, p. 4 (1838).
Faucon pelerin, French ; Falcao, Portug. ; Alcon, Span. ; Falcone, Ital. ; Tauben Falke, Wander Falke, German ; Valk, Dutch ; Vandrefalk, Dan. ; Pilegrimsfalk, Norweg. ; Pilgrimsfalk, Swed. ; Rievsakfalle, Lapp. ; Muuttohaukka, Pieni-Valli, Finn. ; Sapsan, Sokol, Russ. ; Teir-el-hor, Moor. ; Tschakyr, Arab. ; Bhyri female, Bhyri-bacha, Hindu. ; Hayabusa, Jap.
Male ad. (Germany). Crown, nape, space round the eye and a broad mystacal stripe sooty black ; upper parts generally dark slate-blue, paler and bluer on the rump and upper tail-coverts, with darker bars ; quills greyish black narrowly tipped with white, and with oblong greyish white spots or bars on the inner web ; tail blackish with slate-blue bars, becoming darker towards the end and narrowly tipped with brownish white ; under parts warm buffy white, the throat and upper breast striped, the rest of the cinder parts boldly barred with blackish ; bill bluish horn, bluer at the base ; cere and legs yellow ; iris brown. Culmen 1.1, wing 12.2, tail 6.4. tarsus 2.2 inch. Female similar but larger. In the young bird the black on the head and neck is tinned with blown ; crown and nape marked with dull white and rufous white ; upper parts dark brown with paler margins ; tail dark greyish brown, tipped with white and irregularly barred with rufous buff ; under parts white, tinged with rufous buff and broadly striped with blackish brown ; cere and feet bluish.
Hab. Europe generally, from Lapland to the Mediterranean, Greenland, the Faeroes ; Great Britain ; Canaries ; Africa south to Natal ; Asia generally, from Kamchatka to China, Manilla, India, Borneo, Java, and Sumatra, east to Japan ; America from the high north to Argentina ; the West Indies.
This, one of our most active and powerful falcons, frequents rocks, woods, and mountainous localities, and will occasionally visit cities and villages in pursuit of pigeons. As a rule it prefers the vicinity of water and is often to be met with on the sea-coast. It preys on pigeons, game-birds, water-fowl of various kinds, small mammals, &c. Its call is a loud clear kaak, kaak, kaak. but is not often heard except in the breeding season. It nests on the ledge of a rock, on a tree, or even on the ground, making a scanty nest or utilizing that of some other bird, and in March or April 4, sometimes only 3, eggs are deposited. These are usually dull brick-red in ground-colour closely spotted or dotted with reddish brown or dark red, but some are blotched with rich rufous on a reddish or yellowish or even on a nearly pure white ground. In size they average about 2.03 by 1.61, but American eggs, as a rule, are rather larger. The Peregrine exhibits great attachment to its nesting place, and will occupy the same site for many years in succession
764. Falco peregrinus
764. Peregrine Falcon.