Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Search in the Encyclopedia

Dieren en planten

Birds   Raptors   Falcons   Kestrel   Merlin   Hobby   Peregrine   Bird Protection   

Peregrine

size:

39-50 centimeters
wingspan: 95-115 centimeters

color (adults):

light belly with horizontal stripes, dark grey back, thick black sideburns, white neck and breast, yellow feet, black beak and claws

food:

pigeons, songbirds, crows, gulls and shorebirds; occasionally small mammals, reptiles and insects

threats:

collisions with man-made objects, eagles, large owls

Dutch status:

mostly winter guest or seen during migration, rare nesting bird

habitat

mountain ranges, river valleys, coastlines, increasingly in cities

reproduction:

maturity: 2 years
number of eggs per nest: 3-4

life span:

5 years (maximum known age: + 17 years)

special nature:

the fastest bird in the world: reaches speeds over 150 kilometers per hour

  • Dut: Slechtvalk
  • Eng: Peregrine
  • Fre: Faucon pèlerin
  • Ger: Wanderfalke
  • Dan: Vandrefalk
  • Nor: Vandrefalk
  • Fries: Noardse falk
  • Ital: Pellegrino
  • Lat: Falco peregrinus
Peregrine, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

Peregrine

With 113 kilometers per hour, the cheetah may be the fastest animal on land but compared to the peregrine, at more than 150 kilometers per hour, it is a turtle. Peregrines hunt at dusk. In the city, they also hunt at night, making use of the street lights. They are true acrobats, particularly during their courtship. They spiral through the air, while throwing food to the female. The pairs mate for life. Their nest is no more than a scraped out hollow in the ground, preferably on rocks or buildings.

On Texel


In the entire wadden region, including Texel, there have been clearly more peregrines during the winter since 2000. On the island, there have been as many as ten birds. They often hunt above the flats. You can see peregrines on Texel between August through May.

  • Peregrine technique
    Peregrine, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

    The peregrine either hunts from an elevated lookout post or from a reconnaissance flight. When the bird gets itself into a good position above the victim, it plunges onto its prey with an enormous speed. The victim is often killed just by the collision. Should that not be the case, the peregrine uses its large claws to finish off the job. Nevertheless, the attack is not always successful. The prey is able to escape nine out of ten times. Young gulls that fly by the nest of a peregrine have less chance to save themselves, ending more often in the claws of the attacker.

  • Habitat
    Peregrine, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

    The number of peregines is growing in the Netherlands. In 2008, the Netherlands counted around 40 pairs. They readily adapt to human surroundings. The majority of their nests are made in bird boxes located high up on buildings. High up in these man-made 'cliffs', they easily plunge downwards to catch passing prey. In the wadden region, they like to sit on tall poles and msts. The bird can be observed the most during migration in October.

  • Protection
    • Monitoring: Network Ecological Monitoring, Red Lists
    • Policy: Target Species List
    • National legislation: Flora and Fauna Regulation
    • European Agreement: Bird Directive, CITES ordinance
    • International: Bern Convention, Bonn Convention