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Prairie Falcon

Photo by Bob Gress



Common Name: Prairie Falcon

Scientific Name: Falco mexicanus


Length: 15 - 17 inches
Wingspread: 37 - 43 inches
Weight: 1.2 - 1.9 pounds


Comments: Prairie falcons are birds of arid, open deserts and dry grasslands. They nest in the western United States and Canada on cliffs and rocky escarpments. Occasionally they will use an old hawk or raven nest. They are not known to nest in Kansas. In flight they can be distinguished from other falcons by a dark axillary or “armpit.”

Distribution: The prairie falcon is a regular resident in western Kansas in the fall, winter and spring. It is rare in eastern Kansas.

Food: Prairie falcons are skilled, determined hunters capable of taking a wide variety of prey, including many species of small to medium-sized birds, ground squirrels, prairie dogs, jackrabbits, lizards and large insects. They often hunt by flying low and fast, flushing and taking prey by surprise.