The most common prey for peregrine falcons is other birds. In fact, other birds make up 77% to 99% of their diet! Birds eaten include Zenaida macroura, Columba livia, Charadriiformes, Anseriformes, Phasianidae, and smaller Passeriformes. The most common prey item is Columbidae.
Peregrine falcons will also eat small Squamata and Mammalia. Most frequent mammal prey are bats (Tadarida, Eptesicus, Myotis, Pipistrellus), followed by voles and lemmings (Arvicolinae), squirrels (Sciuridae), and rats (Rattus).
Peregrine falcons most frequently hunt from a perch with a high vantage point, such as a cliff or tall tree. They take flight once prey have been detected. They may also fly or hover to search for prey. In some areas, where they may have to rely on insects, lizards, or mammals for prey, peregrine falcons hunt on foot on the ground.
Peregrine falcons are most successful in capturing prey if they can swoop down from great heights. Peregrine falcons capture their prey with their talons, but they generally kill with their beak by severing the backbone. The peregrine then carries the prey back to an eating perch. On the perch, the peregrine will pluck and consumed the prey, or store it away (cache it) for later use. There is an exception to this behavior. Small prey (such as bats) may be eaten in flight.
Animal Foods: birds; mammals; amphibians; reptiles; fish; insects
Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food
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