Peregrine Falcons

Juvenile peregrine falcon

Juvenile peregrine falcon in flight.


The peregrine falcon is among the fastest birds, flying at up to 55 mph and diving at more than 200 mph when striking avian prey in mid-air. Peregrine populations began to decline in the 1940s because of pesticide contamination. One of three North American subspecies, the peregrine in Greater Yellowstone (Falco peregrinus anatum) was considered extirpated by the 1960s. As part of a national reintroduction program, captive-bred peregrines were released in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks during the 1980s. They typically reside in Greater Yellowstone from March through October, when their favored prey—songbirds and waterfowl—are most abundant. During winter they may migrate as far south as Mexico or farther. Learn more...

Quick Facts about Peregrine Falcons in Yellowstone
  • In 2013 park staff monitored 25 of the 33 known peregrine breeding territories. Not all territories are occupied annually and several are currently vacant.
  • The 26-year average nest success is 74%, while the average nest success for 2013 was 60%.
  • The 26-year average productivity is 1.62 young per breeding pair, while the 2013 average was 1.33 young per breeding pair.
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