One of the larger falcons, the Peregrine is similar to others of its kind in that the females are considerably larger than the males. Their call when sitting on the nest is a raucous ‘haak-haak-haak’ or a whining ‘kee-keee-eeee’. The best place to find a Peregrine nest is on the broad ledge or earthy scrape on a cliff, sometimes a quarry, rarely on flat ground. Watching a Peregrine pursue its prey – birds ranging in size from a Thrush to a Pigeon or Grouse, sometimes larger – is exhilarating as it attempts to catch its prey from above, below and level flight. Don’t take your eye off it.
Its markings make it easier to identify than some other birds, including a yellow eye-ring, yellow bill-base, white cheek patch, white breast and barred white underside. Seen flying, however, they look dark against the sky. If you get a close view, look for the black, white and yellow markings.
Listen to the song of the Peregrine at the RSPB website.
5 to remember
un halcon peregrino – a peregrine falcon
estridente – raucous
gimoteo – whining
una cantera – a quarry
estimulante – exhilarating
Our most used bird book? ‘Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe’