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Prairie Falcon

Falco mexicanus ORDER: FALCONIFORMES FAMILY: FALCONIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large falcon of the arid American West, the Prairie Falcon hunts medium-sized birds and mammals.

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Appearance

Hawks
Hawks
Typical Voice

Adult Description

Large falcon, medium-sized hawk. Pale brown back and markings. Whitish chest with brown spots and bars. Dark mustache mark on face. Dark ear patch. Long pointed wings. Dark patch in "armpits."

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but with streaked, not spotted or barred underparts.

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Similar Species

  • Gyrfalcon much larger, with broader wings, longer tail (folded wingtips do not reach tail tip), and only an indistinct face stripe.
  • Peregrine Falcon darker and more blue-gray, has more distinct face pattern and lacks dark "armpits."
  • American Kestrel much smaller and has a double facial stripe.
  • Merlin smaller and slimmer, and has only a very weak facial stripe and banded tail.