The Various 7 Falcons Found in North America
Falcons are fast and agile birds with tiny, pointed wings. Birdwatchers and falconers alike appreciate them for their speed and ferocity.
Merlins inhabit North America, Europe, and Asia. 3 subspecies are known in North America. When hunting, they fly low, sometimes just 3 feet. The merlin's speed and agility allow it to catch birds mid-flight.
Peregrine falcons are the world's fastest birds. It's the quickest animal, not just a bird. Peregrines swoop down to attack their prey. They plunge 200 mph. Impact kills animals.
Gyrfalcons are North America's largest falcons, considerably larger than most hawks. They breed on the Arctic Circle tundra. Like most birds, they avoid the cold winters. They don't like the heat.
Prairie Falcons love prairies and pastures where they soar high seeking for small creatures or birds. They're found throughout the western U.S. Prairie falcons are popular for falconry and hunting, like peregrines.
Crested caracaras are rare in North America. Arizona and Texas also have them. Large talons and orange faces resemble hawk-vultures. Peregrines are smaller.
Aplomado falcons live in Texas and New Mexico. Only a few spots along the Mexico border have them year-round. These streaking raptors resemble a larger American Kestrel.
North American kestrels are predators. North America's smallest falcons are kestrels. Year-round populations live in the U.S., much of South America, Canada, and Central America. Their patterns are colourful.