Species name: Peregrine falcon
Scientific name: Falco peregrinus
Locally known as: Shaheen
Description: The peregrine falcon is one of the fastest flyer and can swoop at a speed of up to 200mph as it hunts for its prey in open spaces. This species is one of the world's most common birds of prey and can be found in most continents across the globe. These birds have been a major part of traditional UAE falconry for many years.
IUCN status: Least Concern
Key threats: Hunting, habitat destruction and poisoning.
Where they’re found today: Most of the world’s continents, except in rainforest areas, extremely high altitudes and polar regions.
Abu Dhabi’s efforts: Our satellite tracking of migratory Peregrine Falcons from their breeding grounds across Arctic Russia revealed the connections between breeding and wintering regions, providing information on migration pathways, migratory behaviour and the diversity of habitats utilised during winter. Overseen by EAD and implemented through our award-winning Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital, the Sheikh Zayed Falcon Release Programme undertakes ongoing ambitious research to better understand the migratory patterns and breeding habits of Peregrine Falcons. Honouring Sheikh Zayed’s legacy, the programme has released over 1,900 falcons into their distribution range across central Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Iran and Kyrgyzstan, and that number increases every year.
- Peregrine falcons will frequently return to the same nesting site every year.
- With their large eyes, these birds can spot prey from a height of approximately 300 metres.
- The Peregrine Falcon is known for its speed, which reaches more than 320 km/h, making it the fastest bird in the world and the fastest member of the animal kingdom!