About the Peregrine
The Fastest Animal on Earth
Peregrines are dark blue/bluegray across the top of the head, back, wings and tail with
light bars across the tail and a dark stripe down the face. The underbelly is
light-colored with a pattern of irregular dark streaks along the wingspan and vertically
across the breast and legs. Males tend to have a slightly lighter breast. The large black
eyes are generally surrounded by a yellow eye ring and the beak and feet are bright
Like all raptors, peregrines have a sharp hooked beak for tearing food. Falcons,
including peregrines, also have a notch in the upper beak that is used in killing prey by
severing the spinal cord.
Peregrines range from about 15 to 20 inches and female peregrines are larger and
stronger than the males. Female peregrines (falcons) are about the same size as a crow,
generally weighing in at around 2 pounds. The males (tiercels) weigh about a third less.
Peregrines are the fastest animal on earth. Diving peregrines have been clocked at more
than 200 miles an hour.