A prairie falcon in flight
A prairie falcon in flight

Winter Survival: Prairie Falcon

Soar with a bird that flies all over to feast!

If you were a ground squirrel, you would not want to see a prairie falcon soaring toward you. Those birds are fast — snatching up small animals like you in the blink of an eye. Read on to find out how these fliers survive the winter season!

Prairie falcons live all over the dry western parts of North America. (See the Slide Show for a map.) Just like other falcons, they are quick hunters that can chase down animals. These falcons are able to survive in the harsh of the desert, where droughts can make water hard to find.

In the summertime, there are plenty of squirrels for the birds to chase down and chow down on — but in the cold winter, it’s harder for the birds to find squirrels. The fliers may need to hunt down other birds for food, including meadowlarks, doves, and quail. In the winter, the birds’ grows. The prairie falcons must fly farther to find food.

The falcons have another trick for when food is . They hide their extra prey to eat later! They may stick their uneaten food high up in rocky cliffs where other animals can’t find it. These secret food stashes can help the falcons survive through tough times.

Prairie falcons may need our help in the future. When people turn prairie grasslands into farms, that can drive out the ground squirrels that prairie falcons need. To make sure the falcons have good places to live and plenty of food, government officials are making plans to help the animals. These plans protect the areas where falcons live — ensuring the birds have enough food to eat for a high-flying future.

Updated January 25, 2024, 5:03 P.M. (ET)
By Ryan Cramer

Winter Survival: Prairie Falcon

Soar with a bird that flies all over to feast!

A prairie falcon in flight
A prairie falcon in flight

If you were a ground squirrel, you would not want to see a prairie falcon soaring toward you. Those birds are fast — snatching up small animals like you in the blink of an eye. Read on to find out how these fliers survive the winter season!

Prairie falcons live all over the dry western parts of North America. (See the Slide Show for a map.) Just like other falcons, they are quick hunters that can chase down animals. These falcons are able to survive in the harsh of the desert, where droughts can make water hard to find.

In the summertime, there are plenty of squirrels for the birds to chase down and chow down on — but in the cold winter, it’s harder for the birds to find squirrels. The fliers may need to hunt down other birds for food, including meadowlarks, doves, and quail. In the winter, the birds’ grows. The prairie falcons must fly farther to find food.

The falcons have another trick for when food is . They hide their extra prey to eat later! They may stick their uneaten food high up in rocky cliffs where other animals can’t find it. These secret food stashes can help the falcons survive through tough times.

Prairie falcons may need our help in the future. When people turn prairie grasslands into farms, that can drive out the ground squirrels that prairie falcons need. To make sure the falcons have good places to live and plenty of food, government officials are making plans to help the animals. These plans protect the areas where falcons live — ensuring the birds have enough food to eat for a high-flying future.

Updated January 25, 2024, 5:03 P.M. (ET)
By Ryan Cramer

Draw it AskRuss