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Smallest prey items taken by Peregrine falcon

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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 15:07   #1
John knowlittle
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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.
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 15:28   #2
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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.
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Old Monday 13th January 2020, 15:47   #3
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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.
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Old Tuesday 14th January 2020, 01:38   #4
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Goldcrest is recorded by BWP as having been taken. Also insects, though some uncertainty about that ("though many possibly from stomach contents of prey").
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Old Tuesday 21st January 2020, 16:45   #5
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Originally Posted by jalid View Post
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
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Old Tuesday 21st January 2020, 18:09   #6
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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.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 08:39   #7
John knowlittle
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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.
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Old Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 19:18   #8
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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.
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 06:03   #9
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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
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 08:54   #10
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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!!
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 15:40   #11
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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.
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Old Thursday 23rd January 2020, 17:27   #12
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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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