Sleek, fast-flying large falcon. Always look for a grayish back in adults, long wings that almost reach the tail tip, and powerful but slender build. Dark mark below each eye varies in shape and size. Juveniles are more heavily patterned below than adults, and can be quite brownish above. Patterning varies considerably across a wide global range, with back color ranging from pale gray in Central Asian “Red-capped” to slaty-blue across much of northern Eurasia North America, to almost black in Asian “Shaheen.” Chases prey down at high speeds with continuous powerful wingbeats. Becoming increasingly common in parts of range, especially in cities, where they can nest on tall buildings and feed on pigeons. Adaptable, and can be seen in a wide range of habitats; often encountered in areas with steep cliffs, as well as around coastal mudflats and open areas with shorebirds.
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