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-   -   Smallest prey items taken by Peregrine falcon (https://www.birdforum.net/showthread.php?t=385466)

John knowlittle Monday 13th January 2020 15:07

Smallest prey items taken by Peregrine falcon
 
For such a powerful raptor, it's often surprised me how Peregrine's will hunt, very small
prey, the smallest I've seen taken was a female Redstart.Which was fresh in off the sea, only to be taken mid air , the peregrine didn't even eat it's victim, just dropped it to the beach below.
I still have the Redstarts tail feathers in my possession.
Was wondering what other tiny prey forum members have seen taken.

jalid Monday 13th January 2020 15:28

Long-tailed Tit. It was late September, a moving flock rose high above coastline of Baltic Sea. A Peregrine took one of them very easily, turned against the wind and ate its prey mid-air with still wings - like falcons often eat dragonflies.

John knowlittle Monday 13th January 2020 15:47

Wow not a lot of meat on a Long tailed fit, I've witnessed mid air eating by Peregrine on only 1 occasion the victim being a redwing. Plucking and eating while flying in tight circles, was strange to watch.

Nutcracker Tuesday 14th January 2020 01:38

Goldcrest is recorded by BWP as having been taken. Also insects, though some uncertainty about that ("though many possibly from stomach contents of prey").

Piskeddu Tuesday 21st January 2020 16:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by jalid (Post 3946847)
Long-tailed Tit. It was late September, a moving flock rose high above coastline of Baltic Sea. A Peregrine took one of them very easily, turned against the wind and ate its prey mid-air with still wings - like falcons often eat dragonflies.


Hello, that was almost certainly a hobby hawk, eating insects especially the dragonflies in mid-air with the legs stretched forward is their hallmark. George

Richard Prior Tuesday 21st January 2020 18:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nutcracker (Post 3947099)
Goldcrest is recorded by BWP as having been taken. Also insects, though some uncertainty about that ("though many possibly from stomach contents of prey").

I can confirm that insects can sometimes feature in their diet - last summer I saw an adult male Peregrine successfully catch large insect prey here.

John knowlittle Wednesday 22nd January 2020 08:39

Hi Piskeddu

Hobbies are Falcons not Hawks, and it's best not to identify birds by behaviour alone,
Peregrine's will eat prey in a similar manner to a Hobby
I've also seen a Peregrine hover, but that doesn't make it a Kestrel.

jurek Wednesday 22nd January 2020 19:18

Hobbies regularly eat insects as small as flying ants, and I guess peregrines do it, too.

However, such tiny morsels they eat on the wing, so it is difficult to find other than in pellets.

Piskeddu Thursday 23rd January 2020 06:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by John knowlittle (Post 3950319)
Hi Piskeddu



Hobbies are Falcons not Hawks, and it's best not to identify birds by behaviour alone,

Peregrine's will eat prey in a similar manner to a Hobby

I've also seen a Peregrine hover, but that doesn't make it a Kestrel.

Certainly it must not be associated with another bird only by a corportamento, for the way he has to fly the pilgrim may have more difficulty eating incaria while flying.

Giorgio

Richard Prior Thursday 23rd January 2020 08:54

An excellent article on Peregrine Falcon breeding in Brittany, France in the latest Ornithos magazine, analysis of identifiable bones etc at nest sites showed birds ranging in weight from Goldcrest to Herring Gull were prey!!

WalterRayle Thursday 23rd January 2020 15:40

Identifiable corpses around a nest I once visited (under licence) included singles of adult Blackbird, Jay (rare on the site) and adult Green Woodpecker and six juvenile Starling, amongst the more expected racing Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove and adult and juvenile Black-headed Gull. I later watched the same pair o Peregrines working together to try, and ultimately fail, to catch a Kingfisher, they kept taking it in turns to dive-bomb the very vocal Kingfisher for just over five minutes before the Peregrines gave up and the Kingfisher made its escape.

jalid Thursday 23rd January 2020 17:27

Quote:

Originally Posted by Piskeddu (Post 3950085)
Hello, that was almost certainly a hobby hawk, eating insects especially the dragonflies in mid-air with the legs stretched forward is their hallmark. George

The point of the story was that a Peregrine hunted like a small falcon, when it had a clear chance to get a small meal. Hobbies and Merlins regularly patrol the same area during autumn and take their share of migrant passerines over sea. Peregrines are more rare there.


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