School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Bird Details

Hawk Like Hawk Like

Prairie Falcon

Falco mexicanus

Prairie Falcon
copyright Robert Shantz
Length: 20 in. (50 cm)
Typically found in open habitats of desert, grasslands, meadows and agricultural fields, it is most often seen sitting on top of a tall telephone pole or an isolated tree. This large falcon hunts mainly for small mammals and small to medium-sized birds, but it will also take reptiles and large grasshoppers. It forages by flying over the prey and stooping down on them and also by diving from its high isolated perch. The nest is located on a high cliff ledge or rock crevice over open habitat. The four-digit banding code is PRFA.

Desert
Desert

Grasslands
Grasslands

Agricultural
Agricultural

Savanna
Savanna

Cliffs / boulders
Cliffs / boulders

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.