Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

The peregrine falcon suffered from persecution and pesticide poisoning in the early 20th century and until recently was only found in the north and west of the country. Over the last couple of decades they have been doing very well and in recent years they have found some unusual nest sites; including Derby Cathedral and the BT Tower in Birmingham! These tall, city structures replicate the precipitous cliff edges that they would naturally nest on.


The peregrine is our biggest falcon; dark slate-grey above and white below with black bars. It has a white throat and cheeks and a strong, black moustache and mask.


Length: 40-54cm Wingspan: 1m Weight: 670-1,100g Average Lifespan: 6 years


Common. Listed under CITES Appendix II.


Nests in the highlands of North and South West England, Wales and Scotland, on coastal cliffs and increasingly on buildings and in quarries throughout the country.

When to see

January – December


Peregrines are amongst the fastest animals on the planet, reaching speeds of up to 200 miles per hour when ‘stooping’: diving down on its prey from a great height. Prey is usually taken mid-air and consists mostly of birds like pigeons and collared Doves.

Common name

Peregrine Falcon

Species name

Falco peregrinus

When to see in Scotland

January – December

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