5 Types of Falcons in Arizona

Falcons are one of the birds of prey that are also known as a raptor in Arizona; about five different species of falcons can be seen; these raptors differ in size, color, and other attributes, but one common thing is their tendency to hunt other birds some of them like to leave near people than others.

Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon
American KestrelAmerican Kestrel
Prairie FalconPrairie Falcon
Grey FalconGrey Falcon

Types of Falcons in Arizona

1. Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

The scientific name for the Peregrine Falcon is Falco Peregrinus.

Their length is 14.2-19.3 inches. They weigh approximately 18.7 – 56.6 pounds, and their wingspan is 39.4 – 42 inches.

They are found throughout the whole year in mid of Arizona.

They can be seen in national parks of the United States of America, but they may fly up to Canada and Greenland for breeding.


A slight difference in coloration can be observed in these birds Both males and females have a somewhat grey/bluish-black back with faint barring.

The chest of these birds has a contrast of bold and thin striations. The younger birds appear to be much browner than the adults

The speed of the peregrine falcon is exceptionally very high, making it the fastest animal on Earth as it reaches a speed of about 350 km/h or 200 m/phits speed and agility make it the elite predator they have a diverse range when it comes to the animals that they hunt as they hunt about 450 different types of birds, but

pigeons are found to be one of their favorites favorite prey of these raptors due to a bump in their beak.

They are comfortable flying at such an unimaginable pace that also prevents their lungs from inflating

2. American Kestrel

American kestrels

The scientific name for the American kestrel is Falco Sparvarious.

Their length is 8.7 -12.2 inches. They weigh approximately 2.8 – 5.8 pounds, and the length of their wingspan is 20.1 -24.0 inches.

These falcons are smaller in size as they have a small head and a beak.

They have very beautiful markings on their bodies, specifically the males having brown spots on their wings.


These are found in all of Arizona, but some of them may take a flight toward the south to breed.

They are pretty comfortable living near people and often use nests made by humans to nurture their young ones although it is a fact that it is the smallest falcon in North America still, it’s amongst the deadliest predators when its hunting skills in Arizona are compared to its size as it can take down birds that are as big as it or even bigger.

One of their favorite hunting techniques involves hovering in the breeze at a low altitude while searching for insects, invertebrates, tiny rodents, and birds.

They can inhabit ecological niches from middle Alaska to the southernmost tip of South America, in part due to their varied diet.

The male and female of this species are both very attractive birds with dark vertical stripes on their heads.

When driving, especially if you’re in the country or a rural location, keep an eye out for them throughout the summer when they’re most active on telephone wires and fence posts.

Any assistance we can give them will be helpful because their population has been continuously falling.

They can be found in a variety of settings, including parks, pastures, meadows, grasslands, deserts, and meadows, and are relatively frequent as long as there are at least a few trees nearby.

3. Merlin


The scientific name of merlin is Falco columbarius.

The length weighs h of the bird is 9.4 -11.8 inches. They weigh approximately 5.6 – 8.5 pounds, and their wing span is 20.9 -26.8 inches long.

Another little falcon found in Arizona is the merlin. Although they migrate and spend the mating season in Canada, they can be found all across the state during the winter and non-breeding seasons.

They typically hunt in couples, which makes them quite proficient hunters.


Their main source of food is other birds. Merlins are similar to kestrels in size, with the females being slightly larger as compared to the males.

Merlins are relatively common raptors that are present in some form throughout all of North America.

Merlins are typically elusive because they are constantly moving while pursuing sparrows and other tiny birds.

They are perched at the tops of the trees when they are not in flight. So be vigilant around the boundaries of forests and from low perches in wide-open meadows.

They have a stockier physique than American Kestrels, sharply pointed wings, and a tail that is about the same length as their body.

Male merlins often have a light-colored (leaning somewhat orange) chest and a streaked black to silver-grey back and wings.

The backs of females range from brown-grey to dark brown, and they have a whitish front with brown markings underneath.

Females also tend to be lighter than males. Their particular habitat is.

A suitable habitat can be found in shrublands, grasslands, boreal forests, parks, cemeteries, prairies, coastal regions, and next to rivers.

4. Prairie Falcon

Prairie Falcon

The scientific name of Prairie Falcon is Falco Mexicans.

The length is approximately 14.6 -18.5 inches, weighs about 14.8 – 38.8 pounds, and the wing span length is 35.4 -44.5 inches.

They are prevalent throughout Arizona and the western half of the country. Like Peregrines, Prairie Falcons are among the most well-liked birds for falconry and hunting.

They are positioned atop cliffs or along fence posts. They can sometimes be hard to see due to their brown coloring, which does make them somewhat disguised.

Prairie Falcons are slightly smaller than Peregrine Falcons but larger than Merlins. In Arizona’s vast spaces, you can see the Prairie Falcon.


Specifically in pastures, farm fields, shrubby deserts, and grasslands. Finding them can be a little challenging if there are a lot of trees nearby.

They are prevalent across Arizona and the southwestern half of the country.

Like Peregrines, Prairie Falcons are among the most well-liked birds for birdwatching and hunts. They are positioned atop cliffs or along fence posts.

They are sometimes hard to detect due to their light brown coloring. These falcons are smaller than peregrine falcons but larger than merlin.

In Arizona’s vast spaces, you can see the Prairie Falcon. Specifically in pastures, farm fields, shrubby deserts, and grasslands. Finding them can be a little challenging if there are a lot of trees nearby.

They’ve been seen taking up excrement, carrying it above them, dumping it, and then catching the cow manure just as it’s about to strike the ground.

This action is believed to help them improve their hunting skills.

5. Grey Falcon

Grey Falcon

The scientific name of the grey falcon is Falco hypoleucos.

The length of the grey falcon is approximately 14.2-22.8 inches; its weight is 0.73 -3.5 pounds, and its wing span is 20.5 -33 cm.

The Grey Falcon has a hefty, thick-set, deep-chested appearance and is an intermediate, compact, pale falcon.


Although it is slimmer than the peregrine falcon, it flies similarly and has larger wings. The upper parts are consistently light grey, usually becoming black on the primaries and generating obtrusive dark wing tips.

Narrow blackish bars can be seen on the tail. The underbody is mostly light grey, with white on the chin, throat, and cheeks. Bright orange-yellow coloration can be seen on the eye ring, base of the bill, and tip of the bill.

In NSW, the Grey Falcon is sporadic, primarily in the Murray-Darling Basin, with a few vagrants southeast of the Greater Dividing Range.

Since the 1950s, the mating range has shrunk, with the majority of breeding currently occurring only in dry regions of the range.

There may be fewer than 5000 people left. Although population trends are uncertain, it is thought to be extinct in NSW regions with more than 500mm of rainfall.

Usually only found in shrubland, grassland, and forested watercourses in dry and semi-arid environments, while it sporadically appears in open forests close to the shore.

Also happens close to wetlands when prey is drawn to the surface water. Uses stoops and high-speed chases to prey mostly on birds, notably parrots and pigeons, although it also kills reptiles and animals.

It uses abandoned raven and other raptor nests, generally high on a live eucalyptus tree close to water or a stream; the peak egg-laying period is now in early spring and late winter. And two to three eggs are deposited.

Check out this article on Types of Falcons in Florida.


There are about five types of falcons in Arizona. Each of them varies in shape, size, and other various characteristics.

Some of them tend to fly at lower heights such as while some fly about 3000 feet in the air and attain a speed of about 350km/h.

Some of them tend to live near the human population, while others live in vast areas and avoid places where there are dense trees. They also vary in their mode of nutrition.


What is the scientific name for Grey Falcon?

The scientific name for the Grey Falcon is Falco hypoleucos.

What is the average speed of a peregrine falcon?

The average speed of Peregrine Falcon is about 350km/h.

What is the average weight of an American Kestrel?

The average weight of an American Kestrel is about .35 -7.5 Pounds.

Last Updated on March 22, 2023 by Lily Aldrin

About Lily Aldrin

I am Lily Aldrin. I attended Cornell University, where I obtained my degree to become an Ornithologist so I could pursue my love of these magnificent creatures in and out of their natural habitats.

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