Hunt for food

Peregrine falcon food

What do or what do peregrine falcons eat? You are looking for something about the food of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) in summer as in winter, then you are right here. During my peregrine falcon observations in Hamburg I noticed a lot. The food supply of the peregrine falcons varies over the year. It is particularly about the time of courtship until the end of the egg-laying. During this time the female does not hunt. And I will report on this in detail. As I have already reported several times, the diet of the peregrine falcon consists of small to medium-sized birds of various species. And as always, I'll show you some pictures / photos of the food and the procurement of food for the falcons, which I photographed during my observations in Hamburg.

Peregrine falcon looking for food (prey)

It is always said that peregrine falcons are hide hunters. That means, depending on the location of their breeding site, they hunt from a high viewing point (raised hide). Like e.g. the industrial chimneys (100m high) also called eater, in cities of tall buildings (e.g. churches), in the mountains of high rocks and in forests of tall trees. More on the subject under peregrine falcon swooping.

Peregrine falcon is on the lookout for food in Hamburg

During my observations, I have found that peregrine falcons just like the sparrowhawks circling over embankments or trees in search of flight to look for birds. If the falcon has found what it is looking for, the falcon flies past the trees screaming and shooing the little birds up. If the birds want to save themselves in another tree or bush, that was it. On the way to the next tree or bush, the peregrine falcon grabs the little bird. So the peregrine falcon is not just a hide hunter. You learn something new every day in the world of birds. Are you looking for a small profile about the peregrine falcon, then visit my page about the peregrine falcon.

Peregrine falcon male (Terzel) hunts small birds

The food of the peregrine falcon depends on the breeding site. The falcons on the coast mainly prey on limicoles of all kinds. Such as the lapwing, the redshank, the oystercatcher and many species of gulls. The male peregrine falcon mostly targets ringed plovers and dunlins (small birds). If, for example, you are on your way to observations on the North Sea coast where peregrine falcons breed, you only need to look for the remains of the prey. And you can see how the food of the hawks on the coasts is composed. And so you can determine the food of peregrine falcons for all regions of the breeding sites (tree broods, rock broods). Every year after the breeding season, the nesting aids of the peregrine falcons are cleaned and the food remains are collected from the peregrine falcons. The results of the food residues are included in the food analysis of the peregrine falcons.

Seagulls / food from falcon remains from eating

Now to my particular observations about the diet of peregrine falcons in the city. My observations extend over several years. And with all the pairs of peregrine falcons that I have observed in the city, food is almost always the same throughout the year. Peregrine falcons stay together outside of the breeding and mating season. And not as is often reported that peregrine falcons are solitary animals in winter. I always met the peregrine falcon pairs together in winter. During the time when the female peregrine falcon goes on the hunt, the city pigeons are mainly struck in the city. Then the falcons' stores are filled with city pigeons. The male peregrine falcon mainly kills small birds. The male also eats from the pigeons that the female has struck. When the male has hit a pigeon and has eaten his fill, then he brings the rest of the pigeon to the store or the female gets it to eat. Peregrine falcons females and males also hunt together. More on the subject, soon under Peregrine falcon hunting.

Peregrine falcon with city pigeon in Hamburg

In winter (February) when the peregrine falcon's courtship begins and the male peregrine falcon is responsible for procuring food in order to provide the female with food during courtship and egg-laying, only small birds, such as house sparrows, tree sparrows, finches, tits Common swifts, starlings and thrushes beaten and only now and then there is a pigeon to eat. The female peregrine falcon is mainly supplied with small birds as food by the male during courtship and during the egg-laying time.

Peregrine falcon male (Terzel) passes small birds to the female

After all of the eggs have been laid, the female goes back to the hunt. The female mainly beats city pigeons but also thrushes, crows and seagulls. From all the small birds that were struck by the male falcon, no residues remain and thus all of the small birds fall through the grid of the food analysis. There are only small feathers and only very small fragments of bone in the peregrine falcon's bulges. Every now and then one finds the rings of ringed birds in the vault. The peregrine falcon vaults are not found as often as the vaults of the eagle owl. More on the subject of vaults, under vaults and spider balls.

Every morning the peregrine falcon male provides food for his female in the form of a small bird. After the prey has been handed over, the male sits on the eggs. He usually broods for three to four hours at a time, and in the afternoon he loosens them again and brings a little bird back with him. When the female peregrine falcon has finished laying her eggs, she will no longer receive any prey from the male (tercelium). The female peregrine falcon now hunts again during her breeding breaks. The male peregrine falcon now sits on the eggs at night as well. The brood separation must take place well before sunrise. I watched the peregrine falcons up to two hours before sunrise to learn more about prey transfer and breeding behavior.
If the weather is very bad in winter, in spring, in summer or in autumn, e.g. snow, hail, storm or heavy rain, then the peregrine falcon lives on its storage facility. There is always food for bad times in the falcon's store. So the young falcons never have to go hungry when rearing them.

Peregrine falcon male (tercelium) passes small birds

Peregrine falcons look for a new breeding site after the breeding season if they were no longer satisfied with the old breeding site, this can be due to contamination and disturbances, for example. More and more peregrine falcons in Hamburg have been looking for their own nesting place in recent years. And they are not always as high as the artificial nesting aids. Peregrine falcons only breed 20 meters high in the port of Hamburg. Ideal for observation. But more on that later, under the breeding behavior of the peregrine falcon. There are also numerous pictures / photos for all of my observations. And, as always, at the end a few pictures of the food and the feeding of the peregrine falcons. If you want to see more pictures, then visit my pages: Peregrine falcon pictures or Peregrine falcon and mallard.
And keep your eyes open, because every year many peregrine falcons in Germany fall victim to the illegal hunting of birds of prey.

Pictures of peregrine falcons in Hamburg
Peregrine falcon pictures from Hamburg
Pictures of peregrine falcons with food in Hamburg

If you want to find out something about the knowledge of birds, then visit my pages: What do birds and intelligent crows know. My site is very useful for projects in kindergarten, district school, high school, university and school for lectures and essays in biology, in zoology, in specialist classes, for worksheets, for species profiles and for presentations or for an essay in biology lessons popular. Here you will find everything for your profile template (elementary school, secondary school, high school) about birds.
There are extra bird pages for the children in preschool and for the children in primary school, e.g. with pictures of chicks or bird portraits. At the bottom of the page you will always find a list of other bird watching.

Have fun on my pages, such as watching owls or falcons in Germany.

We have had our most beautiful bird observations in Europe in Iceland, in Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark), in Holland, in England, in Poland, in Austria, in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Luxembourg, in Ireland, in Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Greece, Germany, Berlin, Hamburg on the Elbe, Bremen, NRW, Baden-W├╝rttemberg, Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate, Bavaria, Hesse, Made in Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Lewitz), Thuringia, Brandenburg, Saxony-Anhalt and Lower Saxony.

Observations, photographs, bird pictures and author: Gerhard Brodowski Hamburg

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