Peregrine Falcon Is The State Raptor of Idaho. The magnificent peregrine falcon was designated the official state raptor of Idaho in 2004. The scientific name for Peregrine Falcon comes from the Latin words Falco, meaning hook-shaped (falcate) and may refer to the beak or claws, and peregrinus, meaning to wander. Idaho State Raptor Peregrines have also been called Duck Hawk, Great-footed Hawk, and Wandering Falcon. Idaho is the only state that has adopted an official raptor. It was done with the help of fourth-grade students from Peregrine Elementary School in Meridian and from St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Boise.
The State Raptor of Idaho Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus Macropus) is a medium-sized raptor With The length 35-55cm; wingspan 80-105cm with slate-grey back, a striking charcoal black head and face which contrast with a pale cream bib on the neck and breast. Males and females look similar, but as with most birds of prey that hunt other birds, the females are much larger than the males. Idaho State Raptor Peregrine Falcons also have particularly large, yellow feet with black claws (called talons).
Idaho State Raptor Peregrine Falcons are found on every continent and major island group except Antartica and New Zealand. Overall, 17 subspecies have been described, varying in appearance and range. State Raptor of Idaho Peregrine Falcons occurs throughout Australia, although they are generally absent from treeless and waterless deserts and dense forests, and they seldom breed above the snowline. The subspecies that occurs in Australia (Falco peregrinus Macropus) has particularly large feet and claws (talons), which enable them the catch large birds, such as Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Galahs, a favored prey. Peregrine Falcons mate for life and pairs defend a home range of about 20-30 square km.
Amazing Facts About The Peregrine Falcon:
- Peregrine Falcons are the fastest animal in the world, with stoops recorded at speeds faster than 300 km/hr.
- The peregrine falcon is perhaps the best hunter of the falcon family. It hunts in wild uplands and rocky coasts, scanning the landscape for prey with its exceptional eyesight.
- Their eyes are larger and heavier than human eyes and they can spot prey on the ground from a great height of 300m.
- The peregrine’s courtship involves the male passing food to the female, often when in flight. To make this maneuver possible, the female will roll over when flying to take the offered food from his talons.
- The male peregrine is called a ‘tiercel’ because it is a fierce (one third) smaller in size than the female.