The Peregrine Falcon



First the handler whirls a dummy prey bird around on a long cord to attract the Peregrine Falcon which is soaring high above. The dummy is a leather pouch shaped like a bird in flight, but containg some meat.

When the Falcon attacks it successfully and knocks it to the ground, he is rewarded by getting to eat the meat just as if it were a real prey.


The Falcon spotted his prey, came down in a fast dive (called a "stoop") and has now levelled out in pursuit just prior to striking his prey.


The handler makes the prey swoop upwards in an attempt to evade the attacking Falcon, but to no avail - the agile Falcon is right on top and the prey never had a chance.


The prey is brought to ground


While he enjoys his meal, the Falcon hides his prey from any other eyes that might be in the sky looking to score an easy meal.


The Peregrine Falcon is probably the fastest animal on earth. In its hunting dive, the stoop, it commonly reaches 320 km/h (200 mph), although one was clocked at 389 km/h (242 mph).


The Peregrine Falcon has been used in falconry for more than 3,000 years, beginning with nomads in central Asia. Due to its ability to dive at high speeds, it is highly sought-after and generally used by experienced falconers.

Peregrine Falcons are also occasionally used to scare away birds at airports to reduce the risk of bird-plane strikes, improving air-traffic safety, and were used to intercept homing pigeons during World War II.


The air pressure from a 200 m.p.h. dive could possibly damage a bird's lungs, but small bony tubercles on a falcon's nostrils guide the powerful airflow away from the nostrils, enabling the bird to breathe more easily while diving by reducing the change in air pressure.

It was this design of nature that was copied by the early designers of jet aircraft to control air turbulence in the mouth of a jet engine by means of a "nacelle".