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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.


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


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.


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
a. any of these or related birds, trained to hunt small game
b. the female of such a bird (compare tercel)
References in periodicals archive ?
The hospital took care of the falcons, checked them for diseases, trained them to be fit in the wild and then took them to the Central Asian country to release them into their natural habitat.
Part of the Sandma Holding A/S group and based at Sonderborg Airport (SGD) in southern Denmark, Air Alsie is one of the largest business aviation companies in Northern Europe and a leading Falcon operator.
Abed al Jarouf who works in one of the stores of the Falcon Souq and has two decades of experience in training and keeping falcons, told Qatar Tribune "The history of falconry is long, and dates back centuries.
The program is staffed by a team of Dassault technicians with an average experience of 10 years on Falcon business jets and specifically trained for Falcon 2000EX EASy, Falcon 900EX as well as Falcon 7X models.
Doffs the hood of one of six highly trained falcons.
Falcons lock Craig Hamilton has been named in the Scotland team to face the New South Wales Waratahs in Sydney today.
Now, 30 years of scientific research and controlled breeding have saved the peregrine falcon from the brink of extinction.
Peregrine falcons dive through the air at speeds up to 200 miles per hour
Interest in the San Francisco peregrine falcons is soaring at an all-time high, thanks to the Peregrine Nest Cam," said Glenn Stewart, research associate at UC Santa Cruz.
Now run by FHAD, under the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi umbrella, the programme is aimed at rehabilitating confiscated falcons and other raptors by releasing them back into the wild.
With Rider, Taylor Anderson and others applying constant pressure, Arcadia took the pass away from the Falcons.
The Falcons welcome StubHub, the leading ticket resale marketplace, as our newest sponsor," said Jim Smith, the Falcons Vice President of Marketing.