How do Peregrines Hunt?

As one of the deadliest predators on the planet – due to their ferocious speed when performing a diving attack – Peregrine Falcons have their pick of the bunch when it comes to lunch, but how exactly do they approach the dinner table? Well there’s two very contrasting ways in which they hunt, read on to find out…

Sadly for the bird and small mammal population Peregrine Falcons have a number of ways to approach their kills, completely dependent on the animal they’re pursuing. Most Peregrines will hunt for smaller types of birds: anything from blue jays to black birds, however they’re not limited to the flying variety. Peregrines will also occasionally hunt for small mammals, insects, and there has even been reported sitings of Peregrines feasting on bats..,.

So how do they catch these ranging types of animals?

The Dive

Known as one of the fiercest animal movements out there the Peregrine Falcons famous Dive is a scary thing to behold. With a clear advantage attacking from a high vantage point the Peregrine will ascend into the sky, or to a high vantage point such as a cliff, from where they will proceed to search for their target.

Once they have located their intended prey the Peregrine will fold in their wings – as to create the most aerodynamic flying position – and begin their swooping dive. Reaching a high speed of up to 240 MPH the Peregrine leaves their prey with very little room to escape, usually killing their target with the impact of their talons alone, as their strike connects.

Short Dive Vid


The Stalk

In complete contrast to the Peregrines deadly-dive, their stalking tactic is a lot more eventful, both for the Peregrine and its prey. Although they may not be as fast as they are when diving the Peregrine Falcon can still rack up a pretty fast pace once they are in full chase mode.

The falcon would locate a target ahead of them, usually a slower bird, and hastily begin their chase, attempting to avoid large movements to increase their horizontal speed. Peregrines can usually be seen engaging in these sorts of attacks when trying to snatch a pigeon for dinner. Although the crafty Pigeons do sometimes out manoeuvre the faster bird.

Peregrine Quick