falcon

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falcon,

common name for members of the Falconidae, a heterogeneous family of long-winged birds of prey similar to the hawkshawk,
name generally applied to the smaller members of the Accipitridae, a heterogeneous family of diurnal birds of prey, such as the eagle, the kite, and the Old World vulture.
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 but genetically more closely related to the parrots and other birds. True falcons and their close relatives (genus Falco) range in size from the 6 1-2-in. (16.5-cm) falconet to the 24-in. (60-cm) gyrfalcon, and in habits from the swift merlin to the sluggish caracara. True falcons, distinguished by their notched beaks, are widely distributed. In flight their wingbeats are rapid and powerful, and they swoop hundreds of feet at speeds of up to 200 mph (320 kph) to capture their prey—chiefly birds and small mammals. They kill cleanly, usually breaking the back of their victim. Some members of the falcon family eat insects; the long-legged caracaras (found in South America, with one species, the northern, or crested, caracara ranging to the extreme S United States) feed also on carrion and sometimes rob other birds of their prey. The cosmopolitan peregrine falcon and the gyrfalcon of the arctic tundra have been much used in falconryfalconry
, sport of hunting birds or small animals with falcons or other types of hawks; eagles are used in some parts of the world. It was known to the ancient Chinese, Persians, and Egyptians. Falconry probably spread from Asia to Eastern Europe and then to Western Europe.
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. The commonest and smallest American falcon is the American kestrel, or sparrow hawk, F. sparverius (related to the European kestrel). Others are the merlin, or pigeon hawk (related to the European merlin), and the prairie falcon. Falcons build no nests but lay their eggs on the ground, on cliff ledges, or in the abandoned nests of hawks and crows. Falcons are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Falconiformes.

What does it mean when you dream about a falcon?

Falcons and hawks have many of the same associations as eagles (e.g., nobility, high aspirations), although the culturally familiar image of a blindfolded falcon resting on a huntsman’s glove brings additional connotations—hunting, temporary blindness, capture/control, and so forth—into play.

falcon

[′fal·kən]
(vertebrate zoology)
Any of the highly specialized diurnal birds of prey composing the family Falconidae; these birds have been captured and trained for hunting.

Falcon

[′fal·kən]
(ordnance)
A U.S. Air Force air-to-air guided missile having either radar or infrared homing guidance, a speed of about Mach 2, and a range of about 5 miles (8 kilometers); can be carried in quantity by interceptor aircraft.

falcon

1. any diurnal bird of prey of the family Falconidae, esp any of the genus Falco (gyrfalcon, peregrine falcon, etc.), typically having pointed wings and a long tail
2. 
a. any of these or related birds, trained to hunt small game
b. the female of such a bird (compare tercel)