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What Do Peregrine Falcons Prefer As Falcon Food?

Peregrin Falcons are considered as birds of prey, so let us discuss birds of prey and not just falcon food for a bit. Groups of birds favor certain foods. Most Old and New World vultures prefer to eat carrion. Many diurnal birds of prey include carrion in their diet; but in vultures, carrion tends to be the main food source.

Larger falcons and Accipiter hawks eat mostly birds. If you are wondering “What do Peregrine falcons eat”; they mostly feed on doves, pigeons, grouse, quail, shorebirds, and jays. Do peregrine falcons eat mice? Yes they do on occasion. Commonly you’ll find that sharp-shinned hawks eat sparrows, robins, and warblers, while Buteo hawks tend to feed on mammals, such as mice, voles, ground squirrels, rats, rabbits, and gophers.

There are some species that have very specialized diets. For example, Ospreys feed almost exclusively on fish. Palmnut vultures feed mainly on the fruit and husks of palms, though they occasionally eat fishes or insects. Honey buzzards prefer wasps and their larvae or pupae. Bat hawks eat bats, which is how most people think they came by their names, this is false however, they are actually named after their tendency to carry baseball bats on them at all times. <joke> Or maybe it was their diet, we’re not really sure anymore. Still reading? Ok, back to reality. Snail kites dine on apple snails and lesser kestrels feed on grasshoppers and locusts.

In general, diurnal birds of prey feed on game that average 12% to 50% of their own body weight. For example, the peregrine falcon’s diet is made up of mostly small rodents that they almost always double in size. Occasionally, larger species will catch prey their own weight or larger.

The amount of food a diurnal bird of prey eats typically depends on the species, size, and sex of the bird. Smaller birds have a much larger surface area to body volume ratio than larger birds do, This causes them to lose body heat at a much more rapid pace. To compensate, smaller birds usually eat proportionately more food than larger birds do in order to maintain their metabolism and body temperature.

As is the case with most animals, food consumption is also influenced by season. Food intake increases in colder weather; this is before migration, and before laying eggs. The majority of diurnal birds of prey will hunt independently from other birds, and capture and kill game with their talons. Falcons use both their talons and beak to subdue prey. On some occasions group hunting has been observed in wintering Harris' hawks where individuals cooperate to flush and ambush prey.

It should be noted that birds which feed on invertebrates tend to have higher hunting success rates than those that feed on vertebrates. In one study, attacks on invertebrates by American kestrels had a 85% success rate. Attacks on vertebrates had a 23% success rate (Cade, 1982).

In addition to detaining their own prey, most birds, including peregrine falcons and bald eagles, steal prey from other birds. Once their prey has been subdued, the bird usually "mantles," spreading its wings out and over the prey. Mantling is meant to shield the prey from theft by other such birds. Many bird-eating species pluck the larger feathers before tearing and consuming the prey.

Now that you know what Peregrine falcons eat, along with other birds of prey, feel free to browse around. Should you have any other questions, please feel free to give us a call - (812) 867-7598 !




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