Skip to content

Falco peregrinus

warning Critically Endangered
CR (D1)

Contributed: Avner Rinot, Ohad Hatzofe, Yoav Perlman, Itay Shimshon

The Peregrine Falcon is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) because of its extremely small breeding population, estimated at less than 50 mature individuals. In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Regionally Extinct (RE). The improvement in the species status reflects its return to breed in Israel during recent years, although nesting observations are still sporadic and discontinuous and there is no information regarding breeding success. According to certain taxonomic sources (including BirdLife International) the Barbary Falcon F. pelegrinoides is now considered a subspecies of the Peregrine. However, due to the considerable differences in the characteristics of both these populations and their conservation status, they are treated here as two separate species (see Barbary Falcon, EN).
CR Current Regional Assessment | RE Previous Regional Assessment | LC World Assessment

Habitats Mediterranean Cliffs
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Short Range / Partial
Zoography Zones Mediterranean
Landscape Formations Mountainous, Urban
Vegetation Formations Forest, Mediterranean Maquis, Mediterranean Garrigue
Vegetation Densities Medium, High
Nest Locations Cliffs, Buildings
Diet Types Vertebrate
Foraging Grounds Aerial
Body Sizes Medium (500 - 1000g)
Threat Factors Pesticide Poisoning

The Peregrine Falcon is a large, fast, aggressive falcon that feeds on birds it catches in flight. It nests on mountains and cliffs, as well as on tall buildings in cities. It winters in cities and open spaces with trees and electric poles that can serve as perches.

A number of pairs of the Mediterranean subspecies F. p. brookei nested in the Galilee, the Carmel and the Judean Mountains until the 1950s. These pairs were apparently harmed by agricultural pesticides (Paz 1986, Shirihai 1996). In recent years, a number of nesting attempts were made in Tel-Aviv, Haifa and the Hadera Power Plant, some of which apparently succeeded. A nestling at the fledging stage was collected at Haifa University in spring 2013, evidence of nesting that apparently occurred there on one of the buildings (Yigael Miller, pers. comm.).

The Peregrine Falcon has a broad cosmopolitan range. The closest breeding populations are found in Cyprus, Turkey and Greece.

No specific conservation measures have been taken for this species to date.

In recent years, a number of breeding attempts by Peregrine Falcons have been observed in Israel, consequently the species is no longer considered extinct. On the other hand, in order to ensure its future in Israel it is necessary to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture and stop the use of lead shot for hunting.

The Peregrine Falcon feeds on game birds, such as pigeons and partridges. These birds could have remains of lead shot in their bodies and cause lead poisoning in the falcons. In order to conserve the Peregrine Falcons, as well as all other birds of prey, the use of lead shot for hunting should be stopped.

  • הצופה, א. ומירוז, א. 2015. תכנית אב לשימור העופות הדורסים בישראל. מסמך פנימי של רשות הטבע והגנים.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
Contributed: Avner Rinot, Ohad Hatzofe, Yoav Perlman, Itay Shimshon

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Falco biarmicus
Falco tinnunculus
Falco concolor
Falco cherrug