Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
a family of birds of the order Falconiformes. The birds range from 15.2 to 63 cm in length. There is a median ridge on the palatal surface of the rhinotheca. There are 15 cervical vertebrae. The flight is rapid and agile. The 58 species of Falconidae are divided into three subfamilies: Herpetotherinae (laughing falcons), Daptriinae (caracaras), and Falconinae (true falcons). The laughing falcons are distributed in South America, and the caracaras occur from South America north to the southern USA. The true falcons are widely distributed and include not only the extensive genus Falco but also three genera found in the tropics.