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Similar to their hawk cousins, falcons are types of birds which hunt for their prey. They are known for being skilled flyers and for their keen sense of vision. Falcons have over 40 species located across various geographic locations except Antarctica.
See the fact file below for more information on the falcons or alternatively, you can download our 19-page Falcon worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
ETYMOLOGY AND TAXONOMY
- Falcons belong to the genus Falco under the family Falconidae.
- Their genus name Falco is derived from the Latin term ‘falx’ or ‘falcis’ which translates to sickle and denotes the claws of the bird.
- A male falcon is usually referred to as a tercel or tierce. This word comes from the Latin ‘tertius’ which means third, due to the belief only one male bird hatches from a set of three eggs.
- Adult falcons range in size from about 15 centimeters long in the smallest species to 65 centimeters in the largest species.
- On their legs can be found plumes, or arrangement of feathers, and on their beaks is a well-developed notch that forms a type of “tooth” that is used for catching prey.
- Due to their vast number of species, falcons are further subdivided into three or four groups. The first is the kestrels which are small and heavyset falcons with a brown to gray color.
- The second group contains the hobbies and their relatives and contains the falcons which are of average size. Their feathers are colored in dark slate-gray tones while their facial areas are usually always black.
- The peregrine falcons and their relatives comprise the third group. They are powerful birds with varying sizes and darkly colored heads. Their plumage is typically medium gray in color with some lighter or brownish colors on their upper sides.
- The fourth group, which is also sometimes included with the third group, consists of hierofalcons or “hawk-falcons.” They have reddish brown colors with prominent patterns.
- In order to catch prey, falcons fly fast and direct with their thin tapered wings. They dig through the air and habitually hover over the ground to scan for smaller animals.
- Some species also capture smaller birds they encounter while in midair. They can change direction rapidly and dive at exceptional speeds. The fastest speed for a falcon was recorded at 390 kilometers per hour.
- Falcons are diurnal which means they are more active during the daytime.
HABITAT AND DIET
- The habitat of falcons vary greatly depending on their species although they commonly build their nests in holes in trees or on natural ledges on cliffs.
- Falcons’ diet also varies depending on their environments, though they generally feed on smaller animals such as birds, rodents, insects, and even reptiles.
- Bat falcons live in the dry environments of Mexico and Central America. Forest falcons thrive in the forests of tropical America. Laughing falcons can be found in the wooded lowlands of Central and South America. The prairie falcon occupies the canyon and desert areas of western North America.
- Female falcons usually lay four to five eggs during breeding season. The eggs are buffy white in color with reddish brown speckles and blotches.
- It takes about 28 or 35 days for the eggs to fully incubate, and the young are cared for in the nest for as long as 35 days.
- The mating and courtship process also varies depending on the species. For peregrine falcons, the male will orchestrate an aerial performance to attract a female to its nesting site. Peregrines also mate for life unless the male gets killed.
- Fledgling falcons learn to fly in their first year. They are equipped with longer flight feathers to allow them to fly easier while learning how to hunt.
- The different species of falcons face varying conservation statuses. Peregrine falcons for example have gradually become endangered in many areas because of their exposure to certain pesticides.
- The International Association for Falconry and Conservation of Birds of Prey encourages the practice of falconry which helps in the conservation of these birds of prey. Falconry involves hunting for small animals such as squirrels through the aid of trained falcons.
- Falconry practitioners have been involved in the rehabilitation of sick and injured birds of prey. Falconry techniques are used to make sure that the birds are not only able to fly, but are also fit to hunt for themselves in the wild, before releasing them.
- There are breeding systems which ensure the propagation of falcons and reduce the illegal trade of these animals.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the falcons across 19 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Falcon worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the falcons which are types of birds which hunt for their prey. They are known for being skilled flyers and for their keen sense of vision. Falcons have over 40 species located across various geographic locations except Antarctica.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Falcon Facts
- Facing a Falcon
- Falcon’s Life
- Falcon Wiki
- Birds of Prey 1.0
- Birds of Prey 2.0
- More Falcon Facts
- Falcons of the World
- Two Raptors
- Falconry Equipment
- Falcon Mascot
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Link will appear as Falcon Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 29, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.