Raptor Population Index

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Species Assessment:
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

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The 10-year migration count trends for Peregrine Falcon suggest mostly stable populations across North America with 80% of 60 total sites showing stable counts during this span. However, decreasing counts have been observed at 12% of the sites with only 8% of sites reporting an increase. For the East Region, 17% of 41 count sites show declines, with declining sites clustered in the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Region. The Central and Gulf Regions show 17% and 20% of count sites have observed increasing trends and no declines. The West Region has reported both declines and increases (see pie charts and trend maps below). The highest count of Peregrine Falcon is observed at the Florida Keys site, Florida, with 2,771 birds per year on average, where numbers appear stable. Cape May, New Jersey, records the second highest count on average, with 1,050 per year and a 3.15% decline per year in the past decade. The 20-year count trends (not shown) imply a stable and increasing trends among the sites (Central Region: 1 stable, 1 increase; East Region: 11 stable, 8 increase; Gulf Region: 2 stable, 2 increase; West Region: 5 increase, 1 stable).

Winter survey data from the Christmas Bird Count (CBC) show increasing 10-year trends continent- wide with the annual percent change in population reported to be an increase of almost 3.5%.

The increase in wintering birds coupled with declines at migration sites, may indicate an increase in resident Peregrine Falcons. There could also be an increase in short-stopping in the United States, although further research is needed to confirm this pattern. The Peregrine Falcon was delisted from the Endangered Species List by the United States Department of Interior in 1999 following rigorous conservation and management strategies. It is listed as a species of least concern globally by the IUCN Red List. Peregrine Falcons are vulnerable to environmental contaminants, collisions, and the loss or modification of nesting sites. Although Peregrine Falcons nest on cliffs, they have become established urban residents over the last two decades and continue to nest at nontraditional sites such as bridges and tall buildings.

Peregrine Falcon<br>Photo by David Brandes

Photo by David Brandes

Please cite this page as:
    D. Oleyar, D. Ethier, L. Goodrich, D. Brandes, R. Smith, J. Brown, and J. Sodergren. 2021. The Raptor Population Index: 2019 Analyses and Assessments.