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Conservation status: Green

The peregrine is a large and powerful falcon. It has long, broad, pointed wings and a relatively short tail. It is blue-grey above, with a blackish top of the head and an obvious black 'moustache' that contrasts with its white face. Its breast is finely spotted. It is swift and agile in flight, chasing prey. The strongholds of the breeding birds in the UK are the uplands of the north and west and rocky seacoasts. Peregrines have suffered illegal killing from gamekeepers and landowners, and been a target for egg collectors, but better legal protection and control of pesticides (which indirectly poisoned birds) have helped the population to recover considerably from a low in the 1960s. Some birds, particularly females and juveniles, move away from the uplands in autumn.



Latin name

Falco peregrinus


Falcons and allies (Falconidae)

Where to see them

Can often be found above rocky seacliffs and upland areas throughout the UK in the breeding season. In winter, they are often seen hunting above East Coast marshland. The RSPB hosts a series of Date with Nature events across the UK during the breeding season to help nature lovers spot these stunning birds.

When to see them

All year round

What they eat

Medium-sized birds, such as wading birds, pigeons and small ducks.


EuropeUK breeding*UK wintering*UK passage*
-1,500 pairs--




Tomas Belka, Xeno-canto

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