Interesting Facts about Different Types of Falcons
There are many types of falcons worldwide, and they are all known to be perfect hunters: Through their specific flight technique they are able to catch other birds in the air or attack animals on the ground. Thus, all types of falcons are birds of prey and have the typical hook-like beak.
Their bodies are slim; the wings are long and sharp while the tale is rather short. Their toes are very strong which enables falcons to grab their prey easily and carry them through the air. Female birds are generally significantly larger than males- by far the easiest attribute to differentiate between the two genders. But what are the different types of falcons?
The Sparrow hawk is also often called American kestrel and is one of the smaller types of falcons. They grow about 11 inches long and weigh about 100-200g. The wingspan is also rather small compared to other falcons and reaches up to 23 inches. Sparrow hawk males have a red back and their wings are often in gray-blue colors or completely black. The stomach is often rather pale and they have one black stripe along the head. Females look similar, but they have several black stripes on the side of their head which indicates their gender.
In comparison to the sparrow hawk, the saker falcon is significantly larger and is a more sophisticated and stronger hunter. Males and females look very similar and are extremely difficult to differentiate. While males can gain a body weight of up to 900g, females can be much heavier with a weight of over 1kg.
The body is predominantly dark brown but the head and stomach are slightly brighter than the rest of the body. A fully grown saker falcon can grow up to 23 inches and has a wingspan of up to 51 inches – a truly majestic size!
The saker falcon’s feet are yellow, but they are blue when they are still young. Because of their similar appearance, saker falcons are often mistaken for peregrine falcons. You can tell the difference by comparing the heads- peregrine falcons have a brighter head color.
One of the largest types of falcons found in Europe is the peregrine falcon. The back is gray while the neck and head are grayish- black. The wings are very large but the overall appearance and attribute resembles the saker falcon.
Nowadays the different types of falcons are spread worldwide. The Sparrow hawk is native in North- and South America but some of them have made their way all the way to Europe.
Saker falcons are predominantly found in Eastern Europe, Turkey and North China as well as in India. During the breeding period, saker falcons travel to northern regions reaching from the Black Sea to the Ukraine. These falcons are rarely found in Western Europe but some have been see in some Austrian forests and around the Danube River.
The world traveller among falcons is the peregrine falcon which is found all over the world.
Falcons can be found in almost any environment ranging from parks, forests and fields to deserts and mountain areas. Saker falcons in particular are often encountered in very dry regions with desert-like conditions. They can fly up to 4000 feet high and need large, open hunting terrain.
Peregrine falcons also love wide and open spaces but prefer greener regions along rivers and lakes. The perfect environment for all types of falcons offers many different types of prey, especially many other birds.
Other Types of falcons
There are over 60 different types of falcons worldwide and the most famous ones are mentioned above. They are all majestic hunters and the highest falcon population is found in the South West USA and South America.