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Falcon family: description, names and photos
Falcon family: description, names and photos
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The falcon family includes at least 60 species of birds of prey. They are distributed in different parts of the planet: from Eurasia to North America. Small birds - pygmy falcons, also belong to this family. More information about where they come from, where they are common and what lifestyle birds of the falcon family lead will be discussed in the article.

Historical background

For the first time, several thousand years ago, hunting was born in the Far East along with birds of prey. And in the Middle Ages, the falcon family began to be valued and protected even more, and those who dare to somehow offend them were severely punished.

In the 17th century, the extermination of these birds by hunters and farmers began. They were considered pests of agriculture. The one who managed to get falcon eggs was rewarded. Birds were mostly stuffed.

Today, the falcon family is protected by the state and most of them are in the Red Book. However, their numbers suffer mainly due to the largethe amount of chemicals that spread through the air or land.

Distribution

falcon family bird

It is believed that the birthplace of the falcon family is South America. Modern species may be relatives of the ancient ones, which first spread in dense forests. Today there are only grassy plains. A photo of the falcon family can be seen below.

Reproduction

small bird of the falcon family

Falcons are known to mate for a long time. The male attracts the female by chasing her in the air. He performs various deadly stunts that are breathtaking. The male catches the prey, flies over the female and throws it to her in such a way that she can catch it. The female does this by rolling onto her back in the air and then falling. During the mating season, you can hear the characteristic sounds of representatives of the falcon family, similar to clucking.

Usually, birds do not build nests, but lay their eggs in a pre-observed and safe place on rocks, in hollows or even cornices of houses. The male and the female incubate the offspring together, periodically replacing each other, and the mother sits longer, since the male must still go hunting to feed the family. Chicks are born already covered with white plumage, which after a while changes color to gray. Representatives of the falcon family take care of their offspring even after the chicks learn to fly, which they do in a few weeks.

Falcons

small bird of prey of the falcon family

The numerous genus of these birds of prey is widely known throughout the world. Narrow wedge-like wings allow them to deftly maneuver in the air. What's more, falcons are capable of accelerating to impressively high speeds, allowing them to catch up with their prey in a minimal amount of time. Of all the representatives, the peregrine falcon is the most famous, which is considered not only the fastest bird, but also the fastest animal in the world. It can fly at speeds up to 90 m/s.

The diet of falcons varies by species. For example, a bird like the kestrel usually preys on small rodents. Other members of the genus may feed on larger animals. There is even such a type of hunting as falconry. People who do this kind of thing train raptors specifically for this craft.

Scientist Louis Lefebvre from McGill University measured the IQ level of birds, the results of which revealed that falcons are among the most intelligent.

Kestrels, Falcons, Brown Falcons, Saker Falcons, Gyrfalcons and many other birds, widely distributed throughout the world.

Kobchik

falcon family photos

This is a small bird of the falcon family, which belongs to the species of predators. Its appearance resembles a kestrel, but has a number of distinctive characteristics. She has a short beak and wide wings. The male is almost black in color, the female is gray with stripes.

The bird's diet includes large insects, rarely small rodents and lizards. Might even catchsparrow or dove. Prefers to go hunting mainly during the day. Offspring are born in abandoned nests, hollows, burrows.

This migratory bird can be found in Eurasia, Africa, South America, on the coast of rivers and lakes.

Saker Falcon

large bird of the falcon family

Saker falcon is a small bird of prey of the falcon family, the most common in Russia and Kazakhstan. It can also be found in Siberia, Transbaikalia, Central and Central Asia, and some parts of Europe. It is a nomadic bird with a small number, therefore, in some places a reserve has been created for its breeding.

Translated from the Siberian dialect, the word "Saker Falcon" is translated as "big hawk". It is found in the dictionary of Preobrazhensky. Another meaning is also possible. Based on the Turkic languages, it means “big, fighter, strong man.”

The Saker Falcon's diet mainly includes small mammals, large lizards. Can catch birds such as pigeons, partridges, grouse and others.

Eggs are usually laid on rocks, hills, where they occupy other people's nests. During the incubation of offspring, the female sits on the eggs, and the male hunts and feeds the family. Chicks make their first flight a month and a half after birth.

Gyrfalcon

bird gyrfalcon

This is a rather large bird of the falcon family. The female is usually larger than the male. The color of the bird can be from white to brownish-gray.

Able to develop high speed in flight. Flapping its wings, it quickly flies forward.The appearance and call of the gyrfalcon is similar to the peregrine falcon, except that it has a longer tail and a large build.

You can meet Gyrfalcon in various places. It lives in some places in Europe, Asia, North America, Altai. Isolated species may be found in other parts of the world.

The diet of birds includes mammals, birds. Usually the male, attacking with his paws, breaking her neck, catches the prey, and the female in the nest plucks and skins it.

Gyrfalcons may seek a permanent mate after their second year of life. They use abandoned nests located on rocks, hills, open slopes. Usually nests are not changed, they can be covered with dry grass, moss.

The number of birds is declining due to poaching. Sometimes they fall into traps intended for arctic foxes, for example, in Taimyr. Falling into a trap, gyrfalcons are unable to survive and die. During the year of such a hunt, more than 12 representatives die. In Russia, poaching of these birds is popular, which are then taken abroad for sale. The price of 1 bird is about 30 thousand dollars abroad.

Hunting with the help of gyrfalcons, which were specially trained to catch large prey, was also common before. They are divided into several types, depending on the value: white, Icelandic, ordinary (Norwegian) and red, which are valued in many countries. Gyrfalcons kill prey by pouncing on it from above, and then carry it away in strong claws.

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