Falcons In New York with Pictures

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to fly above the bustling streets of New York City? Well, if you’re a falcon, this is your reality. Falcons have been soaring through the skies of New York for centuries now, but recently they’ve become more than just an occasional sight. With increasing populations and expanding habitats, these majestic birds are becoming an increasingly common part of city life in The Big Apple.

Falcons can easily be seen flying high above the skyscrapers or perched atop office buildings throughout the boroughs. While their presence might surprise some onlookers, finding out why these birds call NYC home has many people captivated. From how they adapted to urban living over time to learning about their unique diet and behavior, there’s plenty to learn when it comes to understanding our feathered neighbors.

So whether you’re looking up from below or joining them on the journey through the sky, let’s take a closer look at falcons in New York City!

American Kestrel

American Kestrel
American Kestrel

Visiting New York City can be an exciting experience, with bustling streets and iconic landmarks. When you think of the city, however, fierce falcons are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. Surprisingly enough though, American Kestrels – a species of small falcon – have made their home in the Big Apple.

American Kestrel range map

The American Kestrel is one of two native North American falcons which inhabit New York City’s five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. They usually build nests on high-rise buildings and bridges for protection from predators like cats and hawks. As they hunt during both day and night hours, these brave birds often swoop down from great heights searching for insects or small rodents as prey. In New York City alone, there are estimated to be between 200-300 pairs of peregrine falcons!

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Moving on from the American Kestrel, one of the most iconic and majestic species of falcons that can be found in New York is the Peregrine Falcon. This powerful bird has been seen soaring through skies all over New York City, with its pointed wings and distinct white chest feathers. The birds have had a special relationship with Cornell University since their reintroduction to North America in 1974, when they were brought back by the university’s Raptor Research Program.

Peregrine Falcon range map

The Peregrine Falcons are well-adapted to city life; they often nest atop tall buildings or cliffs because these locations provide them with an elevated view of their surroundings as well as protection from predators. With Cornell University’s help, nesting sites for the Peregrine Falcons have been established at many places around NYC including Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Thanks to this partnership between humans and wildlife, we are now able to enjoy seeing these beautiful creatures living among us year round.

As our journey continues, let’s take a look at another fascinating species of falcon – merlins – which also inhabit New York City’s skies.


Merlin Falco columbarius

As the peregrine falcons, American kestrels and red tailed hawks continue to dominate New York’s skies, a new avian species is threatening their reign. Enter the Merlins – sly birds who have been slowly infiltrating the city in order to take over as top predators. With an array of wily tactics under their wings, these cunning creatures are quickly becoming one of NYC’s most powerful forces.

Merlin Falco columbarius range map

The popularity of Merlins among citizens has surged due to their unique hunting abilities; they can soar high above prey with immense speed and agility, snatching up smaller animals before anyone knows what hit them! Moreover, they remain largely unseen by humans because of their small size and subtle plumage. As if that weren’t enough, they also possess remarkable intelligence which allows them to outsmart any potential adversaries. Clearly, this makes them perfect contenders for urban wildlife supremacy.
Now it remains to be seen whether or not gyrfalcons will be able to compete against such formidable opponents…



The Gyrfalcon is the world’s largest falcon and native to Arctic regions. It has been seen in various spots across North America, mainly Canada, but rarely in New York State. In fact, there have only been a handful of sightings made over the past few decades. The Peregrine Falcon Range Map shows that the species can be found from British Columbia eastward to Newfoundland and south into northern New England states including Maine and Vermont.

Gyrfalcon range map

Though they are not common in NY state, it is still possible to come across one on occasion. One of these occasions happened at Throgs Neck Bridge near Bronx County back in 2001 when two young Gyrfalcons were spotted by birdwatchers who had gone out looking for Merlins nearby. They’ve also been observed flying around Central Park during occasional visits as well as other locations throughout NYC.

Interestingly enough, even though Gyrfalcons do not typically make their homes in NY State, some individuals may migrate through here towards more southern ranges during winter months due to colder temperatures up north:

  • Some hitcheshike while others fly solo
  • Their typical route takes them along coastal areas or major waterways such as Hudson River Valley
  • Wintering populations tend to disperse further inland following large mountain ridges or national forests
  • During migration periods they generally look for food sources like seabirds or waterfowl which are abundant within the region

As fascinating as this species is, it seems unlikely that any will remain permanently in New York City anytime soon – especially since they prefer cold climates with open spaces rather than urban environments filled with skyscrapers and human activity. So what kind of falcons live in New York? Let’s find out!

What Kind Of Falcons Live In New York?

The most common falcon found in New York City is the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). This species of bird has a wingspan that can reach up to 44 inches and they typically nest on bridges, buildings or cliffs. According to The Peregrine Fund, there are over 200 pairs located throughout NYC.

CharacteristicPeregrine Falcon
Length14-20 inches
Wingspan36-44 inches
ColorationBlack head with mottled coloring on chest & back

In addition to the Peregrine Falcons, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection also monitors other species such as American Kestrels and Merlins which inhabit the city’s five boroughs. These birds are smaller than the Peregrines and have more pronounced coloration patterns. They feed mainly on small rodents and insects but will also take larger prey when necessary. By monitoring these species, humans can help protect them from hunters and other predators while ensuring their survival in an ever-changing urban environment.

Are There Falcons In Upstate Ny?

It is estimated that there are roughly 2,500 peregrine falcons in the state of New York. These birds can be found throughout upstate NY, but not as commonly as other avian species like hawks and owls. The Environmental Conservation Department for the State of New York has been working to increase awareness about these special birds since they were put on the federal endangered species list in 1970.

Falconers have spotted numerous peregrine falcons across various locations in upstate NY over the years, including Albany, Buffalo, Utica, Syracuse and Ithaca. In addition, there have also been sightings of American kestrels and merlins reported at several lakes located near Rochester.

The presence of these raptors indicates a healthy environment within their habitats; an encouraging sign given how many threats exist against them due to human development and climate change. Moving forward, it will be crucial to monitor their populations closely so we can continue protecting their natural homes in upstate NY. With this in mind, let us now explore what kind of falcons inhabit Long Island.

What Kind Of Falcons Are On Long Island?

The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America and can be found on Long Island. Male kestrels hunt for food by hovering over fields and woodlands. They build their own nests, typically high up in trees or osprey nests. Other types of falcons that you might find on Long Island include Peregrine Falcons, Red-tailed Hawks and Merlins.

All of these birds have long pointed wings and a hooked bill which helps them to easily catch prey while they are flying. Each species has its own distinct call, plumage coloration and behavior so it’s important to pay attention when trying to tell one from another.

How Can You Tell The Difference Between A Hawk And A Falcon?

When it comes to spotting a hawk or a falcon in New York, the differences between them can be drastic! Hawks are much larger than their small, sleek cousins and have distinct features that make them easy to differentiate. For example, the wingspan of a Falco Peregrinus (the peregrine falcon) is typically up to 47 inches in length while the Falco Columbarius (the merlin falcon) has an average wingspan of only 29 inches. The Falco Sparverius (American kestrel), also found in New York, has a wingspan usually ranging from 19-21 inches.

The plumage of each species can also vary drastically. While some hawks may exhibit bright colors like reds and oranges, most falcons tend to be darker with shades varying from browns to blacks. In addition, many hawks have distinctive facial markings such as stripes which aren’t present on most types of falcons. Finally, the size difference between hawks and falcons cannot be understated – even when fully grown, adult hawks will still appear significantly bigger than any type offalcon.

If you’re ever unsure whether what you’re looking at is a hawk or a falcon don’t worry – just remember these three tips:

  • Look for the wing span length;
  • Compare coloration patterns;
  • Pay attention to how large they look compared to one another. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to confidently spot both birds wherever you find yourself in New York City!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Falcons Endangered In New York?

It is important to consider the conservation status of animals in any region. This is especially true for species that may be endangered or vulnerable, such as falcons. In this article, we’ll look at whether falcons are endangered in New York and what can be done to protect them.

The answer to the question of whether falcons are endangered in New York depends on a few factors. First, it’s important to understand what constitutes an “endangered” species – according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a species is considered endangered if its population has declined by more than 50 percent over three generations or more. Based on this definition, the IUCN currently lists seven different types of falcon as being threatened with extinction worldwide. Unfortunately, some of these species also occur in New York State.

However, there is good news: due to significant conservation efforts by organizations such as the Peregrine Fund and other partners throughout the state, most populations of falcons have stabilized or increased since they were first listed as endangered back in 1970s. Consequently, while certain areas within New York may still need additional protection from human impacts like habitat loss and poaching, overall the outlook for these birds appears positive. With continued collaboration between government agencies and private stakeholders alike, hopefully these magnificent creatures will continue to thrive for many years to come.

How Can I Encourage Falcons To Nest In My Area?

According to the National Audubon Society, there are nearly 400 species of raptors worldwide. Of these, falcons stand out as being some of the most adaptable and resilient birds. As such, it is possible for them to thrive in urban areas if given the right conditions. So how can one encourage falcons to nest in their area?

The first step is to provide a suitable habitat for the bird’s nesting needs. This includes providing places where they can perch, finding an adequate food source nearby and ensuring plenty of cover from predators or disturbances by humans. Planting trees or shrubs that offer shelter from strong winds will also help create a comfortable environment for any potential visitors. Additionally, installing nest boxes on buildings or poles may attract falcons looking for a safe place to call home.

Finally, it is important to be aware of laws and regulations regarding wildlife protection in your area before attempting anything like this. Some cities require permits before taking action when dealing with protected species like falcons. Knowing what you can do legally will make sure no harm comes to the birds while allowing you to give them a helping hand towards establishing themselves in your community.

How Can I Help Protect Falcons In New York?

Protecting falcons is an important part of preserving our environment and the species that inhabit it. It’s vital to ensure their survival in places like New York, where they are living and nesting. But how can we help protect these birds?
There are various ways individuals can contribute to keeping falcons safe in New York. Start by educating yourself about the species, its habitat needs, what threats it faces and how you can help reduce them or prevent them from occurring. Additionally, consider donating time or resources to organizations dedicated to conserving habitats for falcons in the area, such as local conservation groups or government agencies. You could also volunteer with a wildlife rehabilitation center if one exists nearby and donate bird-friendly materials such as natural nest boxes so they have a place to safely rest and raise young. Finally, be sure to share your knowledge with others who may not know much about falcons or other animal species at risk of being lost forever due to human activities.
The more people understand why protecting falcons matters, the better chance we have at creating a sustainable future for this majestic creature. With increased awareness and action taken by individuals, communities can work together towards ensuring that our shared environment remains healthy for generations to come.

What Types Of Food Do Falcons Eat?

Have you ever wondered what types of food falcons eat? Falcons, a bird species belonging to the genus Falco, have diets that range from small birds to large mammals. But what else do they consume?
In this article, we explore the various meals consumed by these majestic predators. From scavenging for scraps to hunting in groups, falcons demonstrate their resilience and intelligence when it comes to finding food sources.
Falcons are known to feast on smaller prey such as insects and rodents but can also hunt larger animals like rabbits or hares. Additionally, they often feed on carrion (dead animal remains) and other scraps left behind by humans. They will even steal prey from other raptors if given the opportunity! Furthermore, some species may hunt fish or amphibians too.

To capture their meal, falcons use their impressive speed and agility to swoop down quickly and snatch up whatever is available before flying back up into the sky with their bounty. In addition to being agile hunters, they are also opportunistic scavengers that take advantage of any easy meal presented to them – whether it be dead animals or human trash left out in open spaces.
Moreover, considering their size and strength compared to most prey items they target-falcons can easily overpower many creatures including snakes! This makes them incredibly successful predators since they can usually find enough nutrition regardless of where they live.
Overall, falcons exhibit amazing adaptability when it comes to acquiring sustenance; no matter the type of environment or conditions present, these powerful predators always know how to survive – even in New York City!

Is It Legal To Own A Falcon In New York?

Owning a falcon is a centuries-old practice, but how does it fit into modern society? It’s legal to own a falcon in New York, however there are certain limitations. Here’s what you need to know about owning and caring for these majestic creatures:

  1. You must obtain the correct permits from your local fish and wildlife department before acquiring a falcon.
  2. Falconers must also pass an exam as part of their licensing process in order to be approved for ownership.
  3. The type of care needed by the bird will depend on its species; they require specialized diets and housing that can be costly to maintain over time.

Despite all of these rules, owning a falcon is possible with proper preparation and dedication. Researching your local regulations ahead of time will help ensure that you’re following the law when obtaining a bird for yourself or someone else. Additionally, being aware of the necessary care and maintenance involved in keeping them healthy and safe should not be overlooked either – after all, this is still another living creature depending on us humans!


It’s clear that the plight of falcons in New York is dire. With a dwindling population, it’s time we all take action to ensure their safety and protection. We can encourage them to nest in our areas by providing nesting sites such as high level trees or tall structures like buildings and chimneys. We should also provide food for them, offering small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds as part of their diet. Finally, if you’re lucky enough to own one yourself, make sure you know what legal steps need to be taken so that your bird has a safe home!

With all this said, I think it’s important to point out how absurdly ridiculous it is that these majestic creatures are facing endangerment in modern day New York City. How did we get here? It’s an abomination that humans have caused these beautiful animals’ decline at the expense of our greed and relentless development. But even more outrageous than that: who would’ve thought owning a falcon was ever illegal? That goes against everything nature stands for!

So let’s rally together and bring awareness to this issue – because without us acting now there won’t be any falcons left in New York before long. Let’s do something about it; let’s save our feathered friends from extinction!