A Peregrine Falcon Glossary      

Away – flying hard with wings beating

Bird of Prey – a bird that will primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds

Bobbing – Jerky head movement 

Cache – the birds food larder, where prey is stored

Casting – a regurgitated pellet of feathers, fur and bones that the bird cannot digest

Cere – waxy structure at the base of the bill (often In raptors, the cere is a sexual signal which indicates the “quality” of the bird)

Clutch – a set of eggs

Chupping – a conversational call between mates

Crop – The birds gullet where food is stored prior to digestion

DDT – abbreviation for dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT is an insecticide that can pass up the food chain from insects to small birds, and then from the small birds to birds of prey, like falcons. It can accumulate in the birds of prey, giving them a large amount of DDT. Concentrations of DDT in birds causes weakness and thinning of their eggs, and reduces their population. DDT is now banned because of this

Eyas/Eyasses – a newly hatched, unfledged falcon(s)

Eyrie – the nest of a bird of prey, usually located high on a cliff

Feaking – wiping of the bill after feeding

Fledgling – a young bird that has just left the eyrie, after fully getting its flight feathers

Immature – an eyass still to moult

Incubation – sitting on eggs to keep them warm and in a condition where they will later hatch. This also involves rotating the eggs

Mantling – spreading wings over a recent kill to conceal it from other birds and predators who would be potential thieves.

Mute – Faeces, usually white in colour

Nares – the birds nostirils

Nest Relief – an adult bird taking over the incubation duties from the other mate

Orbital ring – The coloured fleshy part that surrounds the eye

Pluming – plucking its prey or ‘kill’

Predator – an animal or bird that kills another as a source of food

Primaries  – long feathers on edges of wing (usually 10 on each wing)

Prey – animal taken by a predator as food source

Put in – to alight upon cliff or perch

Ring up – to climb in tight circles to gain height to hunt (using thermals)

Scrape – the hollow in which a peregrine will lay it’s eggs; scrapes may be made at several potential ledges before one is finally chosen for laying. Peregrines do not build a nest, but rather lay their eggs in such a scrape, although they will occasionally occupy a ravens stick nest

Stoop – a high speed dive from a height (normal after prey)

Talon – sharp claw of the falcon

Tiercel – Male Peregrine

Quarry – general term that is used to describe prey

Warble – a form of wing stretching

This is a list of words commonly used by birders or falconers describing the bird and its habits – not necessarily a comprehensive list of all terms,