Falco peregrinus (Tunstall, 1771)

Falco peregrinus imageSynonyms: Falco peregrinus peregrinus - Falco peregrinus brevirostris Menzbier, 1882, Falco barbarus germanicus Erlanger, 1903, Falco peregrinus riphaeus Buturlin, 1907; Falco peregrinus calidus -Falco leucogenys C.L. Brehm, 1854, Falco peregrinus caeruleiceps Stegmann, 1934; Falco peregrinus brookei - Falco peregrinus caucasicus Kleinschmidt, 1907.

Common names: Engl: Peregrine; Russ: Sapsan; Turk: Gok dogan; Ukr: Sokil-sapsan, Sapsan, Mandrivny sokil.

Order (Scientific): FALCONIFORMES.

Family (Scientific): FALCONIDAE.

Taxonomic descriptions: The Crimean population of the South-European sub-species (F. p. brokei) comprises 12-15 pairs. The tundra sub-species (F. p. calidus) winters in small numbers (10-12 specimens). During migration and wintering the nominative sub-species F. p. peregrinus is the most common. About 60-80 birds migrate through, and 20-30 winter in, the region.

Falco peregrinus arealIUCN Status:
    World level: VU
    Black Sea Regional level: EN
    Subregion level: EN


Habitats type, Critical habitats, Limiting factors: Breeding habitats are rocky precipices in the Crimean mountain forests bordering open areas. Migratory birds occur throughout the whole area: on the coast, in the inland water bodies, on the steppe, in the villages and towns and their surroundings.

Biology: Sub-species F. p. calidus and F. p. peregrinus migrate and winter in the region. South-European sub-species (F. p. brokei) breeds, migrate and partly winters. Breeding sites include niches and ledges in the hardly accessible rocks. Breeding starts rather early: display flights and copulation take place from the third ten days of February till mid March (22.05 -16.03). Earliest clutches are laid in the third ten days of March. Incubation takes 30-33 days. Fledglings appear in the last ten days of April. The brood size is 2-4. Part of the population leaves for wintering grounds. Pairs and single birds move to the foot-hill areas and big towns where they stay for the winter. Its diet consists basically of small and middle sized birds like larks, starlings, waders, doves and pigeons, crows, small ducks. Falco peregrinus preys exclusively in air and takes its prey in flight.

Population trends: In the last 10-15 years a slight increase in numbers has been recorded.

Threats: Human disturbance, hunting of migratory birds, the illegal bird-trade and extraction of chicks, various sicknesses of chicks (aspergillese, candidamicose).

Conservation measures taken: Falco peregrinus is protected in the Karadag and Crimean natural reservoirs.

Conservation measures proposed: A special program for the protection of each breeding pair is necessary.


  1. Ardamatzkaia T.B., Rudenko A.G. Birds//"Vestnik Zoologii", "Invertebrates of the 'Chernomorski' State Biosphere reserve /annotated lists of the species." Kiev, 1996. - pp. 19-32.(in Russian).
  2. Beskaravainyi M.M. New data on the rare and poorly studied species of the south-east Crimea //Vestnik zoologii. - 1996. - #3. pp.71-72.(in Russian).
  3. Grinchenko A.B. New Data about Rare and Disappearing birds of the Crimea //Rare birds of the Black Sea coastal areas. -Kiev-Odessa: Lybid', 1991. - P. 78-90.(in Russian).
  4. Zubarovsky V.M. Fauna of Ukraine. Vol.5, Birds. Issue 2. Birds of prey. - Kiev, 1977. - 332 pp. (in Russian).
  5. Prokopenko S.P., Grinchenko A.B. Winterings of Peregrine //Proc. of the Important Bird Areas in Ukraine Conference - IBA Programme. Ukrainian Society for Bird Conservation. - Kyiv, 1996.- P. 296-297. (in Russian).
  6. Red Data Book of Ukraine, 1994, p.338.

Compiled by: V.Kinda.