Peregrine Falcon preying on a Javan Myna

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates, Raptors | 2

On November 2008, Mark Chua was at Singapore’s Japanese Garden in Jurong when he documented a Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) feasting on a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus). The bird was having its dinner from 5 to 7 pm.

Peregrine Falcon feeds mainly on birds. In the Northern Hemisphere more than 300 species of birds are known to have been taken by this raptor. Here, mynas have been mostly seen caught by the falcon but surely other species would be caught as well. This is a common winter visitor as well as passage migrant and the abundance of mynas keeps the falcon well fed before it’s return flight north to breed.

The falcon either perches at a prominent site and watch out for preys or flies high looking for one. Once a prey is sighted, it is pursued at high speed and taken in flight, the prey most probably killed instantly on impact. If the prey is only stunned, it is brought to the perch where it may be decapitated. The feathers are then plucked before the prey is ripped of its fleshy parts and swallowed.

This falcon occasionally also catches small mammals, reptiles and even insects.

Gensbol, B., 2004. Birds of prey. Collins, London. 414 pp.
2. White, C. M., P. D. Olsen & L. F. Kiff, 1994. Family Falconidae (Falcons and Caracaras). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Sargatal, J. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 2. New world vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 216-275.

2 Responses

  1. Jun Ying

    It has been observed that peregrine falcons that live in urban areas are adept at catching prey both during the day and at night, using the reflection of lights from the ground. The strategy during the day would be to attack its prey from above, while doing the opposite at night, where the city lights illuminate the prey’s underside instead.

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