closeup of an adult male peregrine falcon, photo by John Hyde. The peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the peregrine, and historically as the duck hawk in North America, is a widespread bird of prey in the family Falconidae. A large, crow-sized falcon, it has a blue-grey back, barred white underparts, and a black head.
The Peregrine is one of the few Birds of Prey that prefer to hunt, catch and kill prey in mid-air - it possesses a unique tomial tooth on its beak which allows it to kill prey instantly. Most importanly however, despite its size, the Peregrine can reach speeds up to 200 mph when hunting and diving for prey.