peregrine falcon, credit: ca2hill/Essentials Collection/Getty Images

Special Concern Provincially and Nationally


• Dives at speeds of up to 300 kilometres per hour, literally knocking its prey (birds) out of the air
• Distinctive black facial mask that resembles a helmet; black “moustache;”
• Bright yellow legs and feet; slate blue-grey back; whitish underparts with fine, dark barring on thighs and lower breast
• Usually nests on tall, steep cliff ledges adjacent to large water bodies, but some adapt to city life and raise young on ledges of tall buildings


• Species widely distributed in every continent except Antarctica
• Historic North American distribution of the eastern subspecies is east of the Rocky Mountains and south of the tree line
• Large breeding population in the Lake Superior watershed in northwestern Ontario


• Habitat loss
• Pesticides
• Harvest for falconry (especially in Mexico)
• Persecution by humans


• Federally protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994
• Not protected under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 or under the Species at Risk Act, 2002


Extirpated from Ontario in the 1960s, the peregrine falcon has increased steadily in numbers since the ban of DDT and reintroduction efforts.

peregrine falcon, credit: ca2hill/Essentials Collection/Getty Images