Knockhatch Adventure Park

Saker & Peregrine Falcon Falco cherrug x Falco Peregrinus 

Key Facts

Weight :  650g male  /  1200g female                         

Lifespan : 15-20 years (captivity) 

Diet : Mammals and Birds

Reproduction :  2-5 eggs  29-35 days incubation       

The hybridization of various falcon species became prevalent during the early 1990s. Initially the hybrid was "created" using artificial insemination and this was done to save the Peregrine Falcon from extinction in the 1960's. In today's modern times, the idea was to create the ultimate hunting bird by combining the best traits of two different Falcon species. The idea behind the Saker x Peregrine hybrid was to utilise the tight compact body configuration of the Peregrine, along with the species speed, power and the ability to withstand the harsh British winters. Whereas the Saker falcon has a calmer, more stable temperament and being a species native to the desert environments can tolerate the warmer, drier summers, thus equipping this particular hybrid with the ability to work in all weather condition, no matter the time of year.  

The Peregrine Falcon is the true "Top Gun" of the sky and arguably the fastest living predator on the planet earth with a top speed recorded at 242mph in a stoop! (To swoop down, as a bird in pursuing its prey.) They are the second most widely distributed land based bird and are found everywhere except the poles.

Primarily bird hunters, they catch their food in the air and prey on other birds like pigeons and ducks.

The other fastest predator on earth could be the GYR Falcon as studies have shown that the GYR (the largest of all falcons) can fly in a straight line speed, in pursuit of quarry, at well over 100mph, which is faster than a peregrine can. To date though, no-one has been able to accurately record the speed of a GYR's vertical stoop and measuring the speed of any flying bird is extremely difficult.

Did you know? 

Falconry is the oldest TRUE sport in the world! When Falconry was at its peak in the 13th and 14th century there were strict laws governing which bird a member of Royalty were allowed to possess. 

  • Emperor ~  Eagle 
  • King ~  Female Gyr Falcon
  • Prince ~  Male Gyr Falcon (Jerkin)
  • Duke ~  Rock Falcon
  • Earl  ~  Female Peregrine
  • Squire ~  Hobby
  • Knight ~  Saker Falcon
  • Lady ~  Merlin
  • Baron ~  Buzzard
  • Yeoman ~  Goshawk
  • Priest  ~  Female Sparrow Hawk
  • Clerk ~  Male Sparrow Hawk
  • Knave ~  Kestrel

Find out more about our Falconry Centre Birds of Prey Experiences  

 

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