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12 July 2014

Falcons

From left to right :
Saker Falcon (獵鷹) ; Lanner Falcon (地中海隼)
Gyrfalcon (矛隼) ; Peregrine Falcon (擬游隼)
Iraq (2013)
4th May, 2014. Mosul

A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world.

Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly. Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which makes their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing. This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.

Peregrine Falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth. Other falcons include the Gyrfalcon, Lanner Falcon, and the Merlin. Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels. The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, Laughing Falcon, forest falcons, and falconets.

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