Although the diet of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) has been studied worldwide, little information on the species’ feeding behavior has been reported for East Asia. To document prey composition and seasonal foraging habits, we collected prey remains and observed hunting behavior of Peregrine Falcons from 2001 to 2013 in the Republic of Korea. We identified 362 prey items comprising 77 species, including two insect species, two globally threatened avian species, and three owls. We found wide variation in prey mass, ranging from 0.3 g to 1103 g; the geometric mean prey weight (GMPW) was 128.8 ± 3.5 g, and 74.3% of prey taxa were <240 g in body mass. The diversity and body mass of peregrine prey varied seasonally; peregrines tended to hunt for a few large-bodied prey species in winter when nonbreeding waterbirds were most abundant, whereas they fed on small- to medium-sized birds during other seasons. In particular, peregrines fed on more species in spring and autumn, likely because of the increased diversity and abundance of migratory birds in those seasons. Our results indicated that Peregrine Falcons in Korea show opportunistic food habits, with diet varying according to seasonal prey availability.
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Vol. 49 • No. 4