The favourite bird of the falconer both for its handsome appearance and for its method of hunting. As a rule it endeavours to fly above its flying victims, then descends on it with a terrific dive, striking its prey with its hind claw, and often decapitating it. Its eggs are laid usually on some inaccessible ledge of a sea-girt cliff. No nest material is used, the eggs lying in a hollow on the bare earth or rock.
The male bird is considerably smaller then the female for while he, the "tiercel", is about 15" in length the female, the "falcon" is 18".