Peregrine Falcon anatum/tundrius complex

Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus
NWT List of Species at Risk: 
No status
NWT SARC Assessment: 
Not assessed
Federal Species at Risk Act list: 
Special Concern
COSEWIC Assessment: 
Not at risk
NWT General Status Rank: 

Peregrine falcons are among the most famous birds of prey in North America. They have a long association with humans and have been prized by falconers since ancient times. Peregrines can reach speeds of more than 320 kph when diving or 'stooping' at their prey. These swift birds are about the same size as a crow. Their long pointed wings allow them to maneuver quickly. Peregrines have slate gray upper-parts and white undersides with black bars across the chest, thighs and undersides of the wings. Some have a distinctive blackish bar, called a malar stripe, that extends down each check from under the eye. Others have a complete cap. Young peregrines have dark brown upper-parts. There are large colour and size variations in peregrine falcons; up to 19 subspecies are recognized in the world, with three in North America. As more genetic studies are performed, however, some subspecies can be reconsidered. For example, a recent study on North American peregrine falcons has shown that the two subspecies present in the NWT, anatum and tundrius, are actually genetically the same.