PEREGRINE FALCON

Falco peregrinus
English: Peregrine Falcon.
German: Wanderfalke-peregrinus.
French: Faucon pèlerin.
Order: Falconiformes.
Family: Falconidae.
38-51 cm.
It is possible to confuse the Peregrine Falcon with the Eurasian Hobby. Both have similar features and very similar moustaches. The Eurasian Hobby is smaller and has legs and under-tails of a reddish color.
Adult males are generally lighter than females, although this variable is not valid by itself. Size is the most useful character in this case.

In general, adult females are larger and tend to be darker and with a thicker and tighter mottling than males.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: it has a general feathering with brown tones. Almost all feathers have a narrow edge of a lighter color that with wear disappears in a short time. The secondary infra-coverts have a white-broken color with dark brown mottling. The tips of the rectrices have a wide white band with a white-ante colored tip. The mottling of the rectrices can be merely testimonial compared to an adult specimen.

2nd/3rd year specimen: these ages are detectable during the spring months only in specimens that retain some brown feathers from the previous generation.

Adult specimen: these individuals have a gray-slate toned plumage. In general, the infra-wing coverts have a clean white with a dark mottling. On some occasions, adult females with colors typical of young individuals can be found. The tips of the rectrices have a narrow white band with well-marked mottling.
Peregrine Falcons perform a complete post-nuptial molt that usually ends in the month of November. On the other hand, the post-juvenile molt is a complete molt that usually begins at the end of the winter months of the 2nd year of the specimen and usually ends in the following month of November. On occasions, it is possible to find specimens that retain some wing coverts of the juvenile generation.

Adult females usually begin this molt period with P4 (as in the specimen in the images). In general, the second feather to molt is S5, followed alternately and with a separation of several days by P5, P3, S6, and R1 (being the first rectrix to fall).
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 13 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.
Link: http://blascozumeta.com/

La obtención de este material ha sido posible gracias al permiso necesario de la Junta de Andalucía.

AUTORIZACIÓN DE LA DIRECTORA GENERAL DE MEDIO NATURAL, BIODIVERSIDAD Y ESPACIOS PROTEGIDOS DE LA CONSEJERÍA DE AGRICULTURA, GANADERÍA, PESCA Y DESARROLLO SOSTENIBLE DE LA JUNTA DE ANDALUCÍA, PARA LA CESIÓN DE MUESTRAS BIOLÓGICAS DE ESPECIES DE FAUNA (ARTÍCULO 9 DE LA LEY 8/2003, DE 28 DE OCTUBRE, DE LA FLORA Y LA FAUNA SILVESTRES).

Medidas/Measures

Adult female specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center: 40mm
Tarsus: 55mm

Adult female specimen

 

1.- Right wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Details of the outer vane of the primaries (P9-P5). 4.- Details of the inner vane of P9. 5.- Details of the tip of P9. 6.- Details of P1-P3. 7.- Details of the inner vane of P5. 8.- Details of P10. 9.- Details of the tip of the primaries. 10.- Secondaries (S1-S6). 11.- Secondaries (S7-S13). 12.- Secondaries and tertials of the right wing. 13.- Tertials. 14.- Details of the secondaries. 15.- Details of S1. 16.- Details of the tertials. 17.- Details of the tip of the secondaries. 18.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 19.- Primaries, secondaries, and tertials. 20.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts. 21.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts + shoulder feathers. 22.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts (G, M, and L). Alulas. 23.- Details of the primary coverts. 24.- Primary coverts. 25.- Greater coverts. 26.- Alulas. 27.- Greater, median, and lesser coverts. 28.- Details of the median and lesser coverts. 29.- Details of the greater coverts. 30.- Secondary coverts. 31.- Rectrices. 32.- Rectrices. 33.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 34.- Details of the uppertail coverts. 35.- Uppertail coverts. 36.- Details of the tips of the rectrices (R6-R4). 37.- Details of the rectrices. 38.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 39.- Details of the undertail coverts. 40.- Undertail coverts. 41.- Back feathers. 42.- Details of the back feathers. 43.- Large infra-coverts of the primaries. 44.- Secondary infracoverts (Below: large. Center: medium. Above: small.). 45.- Axillary feathers. 46.- Right scapula. 47.- Right flank feathers. 48.- Pectoral feathers. 49.- Pectoral feathers. 50.- Belly feathers. 51.- Right leg feathers. 52.- Details of the right leg feathers.

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