Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Falconiformes > Falconidae > Falco > Falco mexicanus

Falco mexicanus (Prairie Falcon)

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Wikipedia Abstract

The prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus) is a medium-large sized falcon of western North America. It is about the size of a peregrine falcon or a crow, with an average length of 40 cm (16 in), wingspan of approximately 1 meter (40 in), and average weight of 720 g (1.6 lb). As in all falcons, females are noticeably bigger than males. Though a separate species from the peregrine, the prairie falcon is basically an arid environment adaptation of the early peregrine falcon lineage, able to subsist on less food than the peregrine, and generally lighter in weight than a peregrine of similar wing span. Having evolved in a harsh desert environment with low prey density, the prairie falcon has developed into an aggressive and opportunistic hunter of a wide range of both mammal and bird prey. It will re
View Wikipedia Record: Falco mexicanus

EDGE Analysis

Uniqueness Scale: Similiar (0) 
 Unique (100)
Uniqueness & Vulnerability Scale: Similiar & Secure (0) 
 Unique & Vulnerable (100)
ED Score: 7.06561
EDGE Score: 2.08761


Adult Weight [1]  1.62 lbs (735 g)
Birth Weight [3]  31 grams
Female Weight [5]  2.002 lbs (908 g)
Male Weight [5]  1.235 lbs (560 g)
Weight Dimorphism [5]  62.1 %
Breeding Habitat [2]  Desert scrub, Temperate grasslands
Wintering Geography [2]  Southwestern Aridlands
Wintering Habitat [2]  Desert scrub, Temperate grasslands, Agricultural
Diet [4]  Carnivore (Vertebrates)
Diet - Endothermic [4]  100 %
Forages - Mid-High [4]  10 %
Forages - Understory [4]  20 %
Forages - Ground [4]  70 %
Clutch Size [6]  4
Clutches / Year [3]  1
Fledging [1]  39 days
Global Population (2017 est.) [2]  94,000
Incubation [3]  31 days
Mating System [8]  Monogamy
Maximum Longevity [3]  17 years
Migration [7]  Intracontinental
Raptor Research Conservation Priority [9]  113
Snout to Vent Length [1]  17 inches (42 cm)
Female Maturity [3]  1 year
Male Maturity [3]  1 year


Protected Areas

+ Click for partial list (100)Full list (116)

Biodiversity Hotspots

Name Location Endemic Species Website
California Floristic Province Mexico, United States No
Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands Mexico, United States No

Prey / Diet

Prey / Diet Overlap


Aquila chrysaetos (Golden Eagle)[10]


Parasitized by 
Buteo jamaicensis (Red-tailed Hawk)[10]
Serratospiculoides amaculata[19]

Range Map

External References

NatureServe Explorer


Attributes / relations provided by
1Nathan P. Myhrvold, Elita Baldridge, Benjamin Chan, Dhileep Sivam, Daniel L. Freeman, and S. K. Morgan Ernest. 2015. An amniote life-history database to perform comparative analyses with birds, mammals, and reptiles. Ecology 96:3109
2Partners in Flight Avian Conservation Assessment Database, version 2017. Accessed on January 2018.
3de Magalhaes, J. P., and Costa, J. (2009) A database of vertebrate longevity records and their relation to other life-history traits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 22(8):1770-1774
4Hamish Wilman, Jonathan Belmaker, Jennifer Simpson, Carolina de la Rosa, Marcelo M. Rivadeneira, and Walter Jetz. 2014. EltonTraits 1.0: Species-level foraging attributes of the world's birds and mammals. Ecology 95:2027
5Steenhof, K. and JO McKinley. 2006. Size dimorphism, molt status, and body mass variation of Prairie Falcons nesting in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area J. Raptor Res 40:71–75
6Jetz W, Sekercioglu CH, Böhning-Gaese K (2008) The Worldwide Variation in Avian Clutch Size across Species and Space PLoS Biol 6(12): e303. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0060303
7Myers, P., R. Espinosa, C. S. Parr, T. Jones, G. S. Hammond, and T. A. Dewey. 2006. The Animal Diversity Web (online). Accessed February 01, 2010 at
8Terje Lislevand, Jordi Figuerola, and Tamás Székely. 2007. Avian body sizes in relation to fecundity, mating system, display behavior, and resource sharing. Ecology 88:1605
9Buechley ER, Santangeli A, Girardello M, et al. Global raptor research and conservation priorities: Tropical raptors fall prey to knowledge gaps. Divers Distrib. 2019;25:856–869.
10Jorrit H. Poelen, James D. Simons and Chris J. Mungall. (2014). Global Biotic Interactions: An open infrastructure to share and analyze species-interaction datasets. Ecological Informatics.
11Prairie falcon prey in the Mojave Desert, California, DA Boyce, Raptor Research 19 (4):128-134 (1985)
12Snowy Plover (Kentish Plover) Charadrius alexandrinus, K. Boula, 1996, U.S. Forest Service
14FOOD HABITS AND NEST CHARACTERISTICS OF BREEDING RAPTORS IN SOUTHWESTERN WYOMING, Patricia A. MacLaren, Stanley H. Anderson, and Douglas E. Runde, Great Basin Naturalist Vol. 48, No. 4 pp. 548-553 (1988)
15Cynomys ludovicianus, John L. Hoogland, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 535, pp. 1-10 (1996)
16Spermophilus brunneus, Eric Yensen and Paul W. Sherman, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 560, pp. 1-5 (1997)
17Spermophilus townsendii, Eric A. Rickart, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 268, pp. 1-6 (1987)
18Spermophilus tereticaudus, Kristina A. Ernest and Michael A. Mares, MAMMALIAN SPECIES No. 274, pp. 1-9 (1987)
19Gibson, D. I., Bray, R. A., & Harris, E. A. (Compilers) (2005). Host-Parasite Database of the Natural History Museum, London
Ecoregions provided by World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF). WildFinder: Online database of species distributions, ver. 01.06 Wildfinder Database
Biodiversity Hotspots provided by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund
Abstract provided by DBpedia licensed under a Creative Commons License
Species taxanomy provided by GBIF Secretariat (2022). GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset accessed via on 2023-06-13; License: CC BY 4.0