6 Different Species of Falcons in Georgia

Falcons are amazing raptors who are renowned for their agility and superior hunting skills. They are very skilled predators and are commonly called raptors.

Falcons may have different types that are living in Georgia. For instance, a Peregrine Falcon is one of the types of Falcon that can dive for food quicker than any other animal on the earth. Up to 200 mph (320 km/h) have been reported for these amazing raptors.

Falcons come in a variety of varieties, but they are all recognized as raptors. They have particular flight control that allows them to attack flying birds or animals on the ground while they are actually flying.

If you need to learn more about different species of falcon in Georgia and how each of them differs from another, then this guide is for you.

Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon
American KestrelAmerican Kestrel
Common KestrelCommon Kestrel
Red-Necked FalconRed-Necked Falcon
The Saker FalconThe Saker Falcon

Different Species of Falcons In Georgia

1. Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

On their journey to breeding and wintering areas, peregrine falcons pass through Georgia throughout their migration. They only appear throughout the majority of the state in the spring and fall. However, Georgia is home to two populations of peregrine falcons throughout the winter.


One is in Atlanta; the other is in the southeast region of the state. They can be seen in open regions close to cliff cliffs or buildings. While searching for prey, they enjoy perching in high places.

A Peregrine Falcon can fly at up to 200 mph (320 kph) when it dives! It also departs from a height of up to 3,000 feet, so it travels a great distance while cruising at these high speeds.

These falcons’ lungs ought to expand and explode at the high speeds they can fly.

But precisely like the dome shape on the front of a jet engine, their snout has a bony protrusion that obstructs airflow. The wonders of nature never stop!

These falcons are widespread in cities where they may become quite the local celebrities due to their love of nesting on the high sides of large buildings. Their breast ranges from white to brown and has faint, black markings.

Young birds frequently have significantly darker brown plumage than adults. Similar to virtually other falcon species, females are bigger than males.


Other birds are what peregrine falcons typically eat. In reality, records of their prey include at least 450 different species of birds. They don’t have any preferences and will eat practically everything they can capture, including pigeons, ducks, hummingbirds, and gulls.

These raptors have been seen killing animals of different sizes, including Sandhill Cranes and crows. These raptors frequently pursue bats when they are not consuming birds.

Like other large cities, Atlanta offers peregrines the perfect environment. The city is teeming with pigeons, one of their favorite diets, and the towers provide lots of high ledges for them to sit on and hunt from.

When peregrines see their prey from their perch, they fly away. They gather height by circling far above their prey before diving sharply to strike. Due to their distinctive hunting technique and preference for pigeons, peregrines have astonishingly successfully adapted to city life.

For hunting, peregrines need open areas. They can look for food from the air or from a high perch. These predators start to squat when they locate their prey, tucking down their wings and tail while keeping their feet tucked.

2. American Kestrel

American kestrels

The most common and populous falcons on the continent, American kestrels, are frequently spotted in Georgia. While these birds do migrate in certain locations, they do not do so over much of their range.

Kestrels like open environments like meadows where it is simple to see their insect food. However, they have successfully adapted to city life and are a regular sight there. It’s not unusual to see one or two kestrels munching on the moths that huddle close to them.


Hovering in the breeze from a relatively low height while searching for insects, invertebrates, small rodents, and birds is one of their preferred hunting techniques. As they look for prey, kestrels are frequently seen perched on telephone poles, fence posts, or street lights.

The males may be identified by their slate-gray wings, slate-grey heads, and white bellies with black bands. They also have reddish-brown backs. One of the reasons they can live in ecological niches from middle Alaska to the southernmost point of South America is due to their varied diet.

Being the tiniest falcon can be challenging since they are occasionally eaten as food by larger raptors as well as by rat snakes and corn snakes. Females have more cream-colored bellies and greyer heads and wings.

Kestrels are also easily recognized by their little stature. These are North America’s tiniest raptors. The males’ backs are rust-colored (rufous) with black bars, but only on the lower half, and their white bellies and flanks have black barring and/or spots. The males’ wings are fairly blue or grey.

Their bellies typically have noticeable brown streaks and are buff or tan in color. However, as both sexes have white heads with a blue-gray crown, they may be swapped out. They inhabit a variety of environments, including highway overpasses, parks, meadows, marshes, plains, and prairies.

They are the only species of falcon that hover while beating their wings rapidly and do not even turn their heads to look for prey. Lizards, voles, mice, Dragonflies, grasshoppers, and small birds make up the majority of their food.

3. Common Kestrel

Common Kestrel

The common Kestrel is found throughout America, including Georgia. The body color of this species is chestnut brown, and its blackish markings are distinctive.

As is frequently the case with birds of prey, the bigger and more ornamented birds are the females of this species of falcons. This species can detect urine traces near rodent burrows thanks to its capacity to perceive ultraviolet light.


Smaller animals, including bats, lizards, mice, voles, shrews, and frogs, make up the majority of their diet. However, they also take advantage of the chance to consume termites, beetles, spiders, and worms.

4. Merlins


A Merlin is easily distinguished by its quick wingbeats and compact size. However, despite its small size, this falcon is a very ferocious animal that employs surprise attacks to dispatch its victim.

In Georgia, merlins are fairly universally distributed. Small, ferocious falcons known as Merlins are common across Georgia. Having said that, they are uncommon to see and unpredictable in terms of their range. They have a stockier physique than American Kestrels, sharply pointed wings, and a tail that is about the same length as their body.


A suitable habitat can be found in shrublands, grasslands, boreal forests, parks, cemeteries, prairies, coastal regions, and next rivers. These raptors migrate and travel about, which makes everything more difficult.

Male merlins often have a light-colored (leaning somewhat orange) breast and a streaked black to silver-grey back and wings. However, the color of each species varies according to its range and whether it is a female or male.

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. When the weather becomes chilly, the majority of them move south, but there are a few locations in the nation where you may find Merlins all year long.

It has been observed attacking trains and vehicles that enter its region since it is so brazen. Although merlins are similar in size to kestrels, they weigh about three times as much due to their substantially greater muscle mass.

Merlins are, therefore, strong flyers who prefer to go swiftly and closely to the ground, typically less than three feet above it. It has been shown that merlins hunt in packs.

A merlin will drive a flock of birds toward their spouse by flushing them out of concealment. The second bird swoops in and finishes the job. Given that most raptors hunt alone, this behavior is quite unusual. Although they prefer open forests, merlins are becoming more and more prevalent in cities.

5. Red-Necked Falcon

Red-Necked Falcon
Credits – Wikipedia

These are medium-sized falcon species that are mostly found in semi-desert areas or dry, open nations. They frequently perch in trees to keep an eye out for passing birds or insects that they can chase.

At dusk and morning, they are known to hunt in pairs using a unique tactic in which one falcon would swoop low to startle tiny birds into flight, and the second falcon will soar high to snag the prey.

6. The Saker Falcon

The Saker Falcon

These are extraordinarily huge falcons with wingspan measurements of over four feet. They love broad meadows with a few towering trees or rocks and are colors of contrasting gray and brown.

These raptors engage in horizontal hunting and mostly consume birds and rodents. They don’t construct their own nest; instead, they lay their eggs in an existing raven, stork, or buzzard nest. These amazing birds are listed as endangered, and few of them can be found in Georgia.

Check out this article on Types of Falcons in North America.


This discussion explains about different species of Falcon in Georgia. We have shared details of all the types that are commonly found in this state.

If you need more details, see FAQ.


What kind of falcon is most typical?

There are peregrine falcons all throughout the United States, and, except for Antarctica, they may be found on every continent. These falcons are widespread in cities where they may become quite the local celebrities due to their habit of nesting on the sides of large buildings!

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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