Environmental Research Unit, PO Box 434, Stanley, Falkland Islands
Peregrine FalconFalco peregrinus cassini
Local Name: Sparrow Hawk, Cassin's Falcon
Breeding Range: Falklands, Chile & Argentina
Falklands Population: ~300 breeding pairs
World Population: unknown
The Peregrine Falcon is widespread around the Falklands but is not common. Simple nests are made on steep seacliffs or inland crags, with 2 to 4 eggs being laid during October. The young hatch in November, and remain in the nest until they fledge in January. The number of chicks that survive is very dependent on the availability of food. Prey mainly consists of small birds caught on the wing, with prions being a particular favourite on western islands. Rabbits and rodents are also taken occasionally. The Peregrine Falcon is one of the world's fastest animals, reaching speeds in excess of 100km per hour whilst diving down to catch unsuspecting prey in flight. Despite its great speed, surprise is the Peregrine's main asset, with small birds often being able to take refuge if they spot the danger in time. Sexes are similar.