The peregrine falcon is the largest British falcon and perhaps the most impressive hunter of them all.

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Breeding

Peregrine falcons pair for life and usually build their eyrie (nest) on a high, inaccessible cliff or crag. They return to the same eyrie each year. The nest itself is usually just a simple scrape and the ledge wide enough to take up to four young.

The peregrines' courtship involves some impressive aerial acrobatics. The tiercel (the male, so-called because it is a tierce; one third, smaller in size than the female) 'loops the loop' after making a mock dive at the female. He also passes food to the female, often while in flight. To allow him to pass a 'gift bird' in mid-air, the female rolls over while flying to take the food from his talons.

Three or four whitish eggs with reddish-brown blotches are laid in about April. The female does most of the incubating until the eggs hatch a month later. The chicks are covered in fluffy down at first and begin to grow their adult feathers at about a month old. The chicks can fly at 5 - 6 weeks old. The parents may travel far and wide to find food for their young.

Read More: Food and Hunting

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