Falconids are found in nearly every terrestrial habitat, including desert, tundra, taiga, grasslands, savanna, scrub forest, chaparral, forest, mountains, coastal areas, wetlands, estuaries, lake shores, agricultural areas, suburbs and cities. The highest diversity of falconids is found in the tropics, in open rather than forested habitats, and in lowlands rather than at high elevations. Most species are adaptable to various habitats, as habitat structure and availability of nest sites appear to be more important than specific vegetation. A dramatic example of this adaptability are peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus) and kestrels that successfully breed in cities, nesting on tall buildings and other man-made structures and hunting pigeons and other urban wildlife. Other species, including most forest-falcons in Polyborinae, require more specific habitat, such as undisturbed forest interiors. Migratory species often choose winter habitat that is similar in structure to their breeding habitat. Males, females and juveniles of some species may winter in different habitats, the juveniles taking advantage of habitats with abundant prey but an absence of nest sites.
Habitat Regions: temperate ; tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: tundra ; taiga ; desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest ; mountains
Wetlands: marsh ; swamp ; bog
Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural ; riparian
- Cade, T., M. Martell, P. Redig, G. Septon, H. Tordoff. 1996. Peregrine Falcons in Urban North America. Pp. 3-14 in D Bird, D Varland, J Negro, eds. Raptors in Human Landscapes: Adaptations to Built and Cultivated Environments. San Diego: Academic Press Inc.