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Photo by Tom Grey

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

The name "peregrine" means wanderer, and the Peregrine Falcon has one of the longest migrations of any North American bird. Falcons that breed in the tundra of Alaska may fly to South America for the winter, travelling 15,500 miles in a single year. Most Peregrines fly through Central American on their way to winter homes in South America.

The Peregrine can be found on every continent except Antarctica, in a variety of habitats, mostly on cliffs for nesting and open areas for foraging but sometimes in large cities it nests on buildings. Locally, the falcon lives in Santa Clara Country all year round, and is a common sight all along the penninsula.

(Sources: The Sibley Guide to Birds, David Allen Sibley, Knopf, 2000; Boise State Migration Routes; Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

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