Falco peregrinus

Peregrine Falcons are one of the largest falcons in North America. They have long, pointed wings and a long tail. As with most raptor species the Peregrine Falcon males are smaller than females. Peregrine females are called Merlins and small males are called Gyrfalcons. Adults are blue gray at the top of their body with barred underparts. They have a dark head with thick sideburns. Juveniles are heavily marked, with vertical streaks instead of horizontal bars on the breast. Peregrine Falcons are one of the world's fastest birds and they can dive from vast heights to strike prey. They can reach speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. Peregrines are found on six continents though was seriously endangered in the mid-20th century because of the effects of DDT and other persistent pesticides