Falcons are incredible predators, and in my opinion, the world's most magnificent airborne predator. They aren't the most powerful birds of prey, but their hunting techniques are unique. Fighter jets are patterned after falcons for a purpose. It's not just the incredible speed; it's also how they can turn at g-forces that would kill a human.
Falcons come in various shapes and sizes, and they may be found all over the world, including North America. Prairie Falcons, American Kestrels, Merlins, Gyr Falcons, and the iconic Peregrine Falcon are the most frequent in North America. Kestrels hunt in a different way than other birds, and they don't dive. The Peregrine Falcon is well recognized for its speed and ability to hunt. Although more prominent, the Gyrfalcon, in my opinion, is just as swift as the peregrine falcon.
Falcons hunt mostly on other birds, such as ducks, pigeons, and grouse. They fly high in the sky, well above their prey, and then descend into a fantastic dive when ready to pursue. They turn like a corkscrew after their prey throughout the descent. The falcon dives in this manner to keep an eye on its target. This is because instead of staring straight ahead like humans, their eyes are situated on the side of their heads. They have long, thin wings designed for speed and a long, narrow tail designed for great turning. They hit their prey in mid-air at extraordinary speeds, and often just one strike is enough to kill them. If not, the falcon will soon regain height and strike once more. They're also notorious for pursuing down their prey after they've struck. They strike with their feet and nails open occasionally and with their feet closed in a fist on other occasions. In any case, it is capable of dealing a deadly blow to its prey.
The Peregrine Falcon has been seen plunging at speeds of up to 232 miles per hour. This two-pound bird has been reported to take prey as large as a nine-pound sage grouse, North America's most giant hunting bird. Falconers breed falcons for hunting purposes in the falconry field. A hybrid falcon, half peregrine and half Gyrfalcon, is the most popular falcon to breed. Many falconers prefer male falcons due to their perseverance; nevertheless, males are smaller than females and cannot take down the widespread sage grouse. This hybrid bird has the size of a Gyrfalcon and the tenacity of a peregrine falcon, making it ideal for sage grouse hunting. These hybrids usually are the size of a female peregrine falcon but have a male's disposition.
Because of a chemical pesticide called DDT that farmers put on their crops, the peregrine falcon appeared to be condemned to extinction. Finally, the United States banned DDT, and the peregrine falcon, along with many other bird species, has recovered completely. The peregrine falcon is widespread, and it will even make its nest on the ledges of massive buildings that imitate cliffs in significant cities. Keep an eye out high in the sky for this incredible predator, which is the bird world's equivalent of a jet fighter. If you want to learn more about falcons, please visit here.