Similar in size to the
Peregrine Falcon, the Prairie Falcon is a fairly common resident of open spaces
in the Western U.S. While most commonly found in open grasslands of the
West, they have adapted to a human presence by sometimes frequenting urban areas
during the winter, taking advantage of the steady of supply of
Habitat: Primarily found in arid to
semi-arid open areas such as grassland and rangeland, deserts, and above
tree-line in mountainous parts of the west. Not commonly found near
developed areas in the summer, some may winter near urban centers to take
advantage of common residential birds.
Diet: Primarily small mammals and small
birds. Can feed on birds up to the size of prairie chickens, and on
mammals as large as jackrabbits. Will also feed on large insects, lizards,
Behavior: Will hunt from a perch, swooping down
for prey, or often by flying low over the ground, surprising prey.
Males perform a wide variety of acrobatic flight displays during courtship.
Nesting: April through July
Song: Alarm call of a sharp
Migration: Primarily a permanent resident, but some
move short distances to the south in the winter.
Conservation Status: Some indications of sharp declines near developed areas, but
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Prairie Falcon"
eNature.com: Prairie Falcon
Photo Information: February 16th, 2004 -- Near Kennebec -- Terry L. Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Prairie Falcon photos.