Physical Description
 
Peregrines are birds of prey - also known as raptors from the Latin rapere, 'to seize'. They belong to the falcon family, great hunters whose streamlined bodies and small heads make them swift fliers.
 
As with most raptors, the females on average are noticeably larger than the males. In fact, the term falcon usually refers to a female. A male is known as a tiercel, which is derived from the Latin tertius, meaning 'one third' because the male is roughly one third smaller than the female. Distinguishing features of the Peregrine Falcon are its long pointed wings and black head and sideburns resembling a hood. The upper plumage is generally slate blue-grey. The chest is pale chestnut-buff with black barring running across most of the underparts leaving a prominent white 'bib'. The cere (membrane above a bird's beak), eyes and feet are yellow. Young Peregrines are dark brown above with the underparts pale fawn, heavily streaked in dark brown.



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