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The Peregrine Falcon is most commonly found along the coasts of the U.S. and is mostly absent from the midwest, unlike some similar-looking species.

  • Look for the adult Peregrine Falcon’s large and long-winged shape; thick and dark “sideburns” or “mustache” markings; barred belly, legs, and tail; black hood and dark gray-blue back.
  • Prairie Falcons are found only in open areas of the West, are more brown, and have dark “armpits.” They do not hunt ducks, shorebirds, and pigeons as frequently as Peregrine Falcons.
  • Gyrfalcons are larger and much more rare in the continental United States than Peregrine Falcons.
  • Merlins are smaller and more compact than Peregrine Falcons, and have a pale “eyebrow.” They lack the dark hood and “mustache” and have more dark brown streaks on their undersides.