Fun Saker Falcon Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Saker Falcon Facts For Kids

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Ever noticed the birds that the Sheikhs of Middle Eastern countries play with? The beautiful yet large-sized birds are the saker falcons. The saker falcon (Falco cherrug) is the strongest and fastest falcon species on earth. These birds reside on higher elevations on cliffs or around less crowded urban forests. With their powerful eyesight, they can spot prey easily and are known as birds of prey. Taking flight to hunt down prey, they fly horizontally and attack within seconds. In just a fraction of a second, they take a huge horizontal leap and swoop down to catch their prey.

With their unique brown to ash-gray looks, they are one of the most expensive birds traded by humans. It is common in the Middle East to have a saker as a pet which has increased the illegal trading of these endangered bird species. However, many countries like Hungary and other European countries are trying hard to conserve this rare falcon species.

If you like what you read, do check out our other articles on prairie falcons and hawks.

Fun Saker Falcon Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Ground squirrels, hares, hamsters, herons, ducks, owls, and lizards

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

Males: 26-35 oz (730-990 g), Females: 34-46 oz (970-1300 g)

How long are they?

Wingspan: 41.3 in (105 cm) for males and 49.2 in (125 cm) for females

How tall are they?

Males: 17 in (45 cm)Females: 21 in (55 cm)

What do they look like?

Brown, gray-white, and pale sandy yellow

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?


Where you'll find them?

Wetlands, Shrublands, Temperate Grasslands, And Urban Parklands, Intertidal Zones


Sub-saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, The Middle East









Saker Falcon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a saker falcon?

The saker falcon (Falco cherrug) is one of the largest and rarest bird species. They have large and mighty wings, making them birds of prey.

What class of animal does a saker falcon belong to?

Saker falcons belong to the class of Aves. Their body is covered with flight feathers and these invertebrates lay shelly eggs. They have a very lightweight body structure which helps them to fly around easily.

How many saker falcons are there in the world?

At present, the population of saker falcons ranges between 12,000 to 30,000. Due to severe habitat loss, their population numbers are constantly falling.

Where does a saker falcon live?

Saker falcons mostly dwell in temperate grasslands, shrublands, wetlands, and urban parks. This bird species breeds in wild bushy areas where they can easily spot their prey. Also, these intelligent birds nest their younger ones in other's nests.

What is a saker falcon's habitat?

This species of bird is found across the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, eastern Europe, and Asia. The habitat range of saker falcons ranges from tropical to temperate areas. They can survive easily in the cold and drier European countries, the hot and wet Central Asian countries, and the dry and hot countries of the Middle East. A saker usually dwells in higher elevations like on tree tops or cliffs to keep a close watch on its prey. Another interesting fact is that these falcons are migratory by nature. They fly away from temperature extremes to maintain their range of body temperature and also to find prey.

Who do saker falcons live with?

Sakers are a species of loners who prefer flying around in their territorial range. This falcon species does not like interacting with other birds or animals. Saker falcons nest near to each other where there is a large food supply and they all hunt for prey. However, the population of saker falcons is rapidly falling because of rampant habitat loss.

How long does a saker falcon live?

The average lifespan of a saker falcon ranges between 10 to 25 years.  When left on their own in the wild, their lifespan increases more than when they are in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

Saker falcons are monogamous by nature. Male sakers show delightful flight displays over their territory to attract a female sakers. Once the courtship starts, the partners become intensively inclined towards each other and mate with the same partner for life. The breeding season usually covers the months of April to May. After copulation, a female falcon lays around three to six eggs and incubates them for 32 to 36 days.  They nest their eggs in the abandoned nest of some other bird. Once the chicks hatch, they are nourished by the mother falcon until they become independent in hunting prey.

What is their conservation status?

Saker falcons (Falco cherrug) are listed as an Endangered bird species in the IUCN Red List and BirdLife International. The major cause of the rapid dwindling of the population of this mythological bird is the illegal trade of sakers, especially to the Middle Eastern countries for mythological story-telling. In Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the population decline is the most concerning. Another important cause is habitat loss as young birds are transported to far-off places for falconry. Avian influenza also become a major threat to a huge chunk of their population range wherever it hits.

Since the saker falcon is the national bird of Hungary, they are well protected and bred. There are several captive conservation projects in the USA, Canada, and Europe where the saker species can breed.

Saker Falcon Fun Facts

What do Saker Falcons look like?

Falco cherrug or saker falcons are big birds with brown to a gray-colored bodies covered with feathers. They have very wide and pointed wings with large feet and sharp claws. Their beaks are blunt but sharp enough to efficiently hunt down their prey.

A saker falcon.

How cute are they?

Despite their large size and powerful gaze, fluffy saker falcons are extremely cute-looking birds. On a scale of one to 10, sakers get an eight for their cuteness.

How do they communicate?

The falcon is perpetually regarded to be an introvert. They communicate verbally while looking for a mate, displaying their fantastic flight skills or warding off predators. Their call is a sharp 'kiy ee' which is loud enough to be heard from a distance.

How big is a saker falcon?

Saker falcons are one of the largest bird species on the planet. Their size ranges from 17-21 in (45-55 cm), with gigantic wings which range from 41.3-49.2 in (105-125 cm) long. A saker falcon is 10 times bigger than a crow. Male sakers are slightly smaller than females.

How fast can a saker falcon fly?

Saker falcons with their lightweight flight feathers can fly swiftly at speeds that range between 93-199 mph (150- 320 kph). These wild birds have very wide wings which help them to fly high above their breeding grounds, tactfully evading their prey.

How much does a Saker falcon weigh?

These large and mighty birds weigh between 26-46 oz (730-1300 g). Despite their large size, they are quite lightweight which enables sakers to fly easily.

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male falcon is called a 'sakret' while a female falcon is a 'saker'.

What would you call a baby saker falcon?

A baby saker falcon is called a 'chick' after it hatches out of an egg.

What do they eat?

Saker falcons are carnivorous eaters. They feed on rodents and small mammals. In Europe, they commonly prey on ground squirrels. Other animals in their diet include hares, hamsters, ducks, and lizards.

Are they dangerous?

A saker falcon generally doesn't attack humans and is not dangerous or deadly. But if angered, they can attack and injure with their sharp beaks, strong and clawed talons. If a large number of these birds attack in unison, they can inflict sharp bleeding wounds on humans.

Would they make a good pet?

For a long time, saker falcons have been traded to Middle Eastern countries for falconry and to keep as pets. A saker falcon (Falco cherrug) usually serves as a good pet, but it is advisable not to pet them as they deserve to live freely in the wild.

Did you know...

The Saker falcon is the national bird of Hungary. Recently, Mongolia has also declared sakers as their national bird. In Hungarian culture, a saker falcon is seen as a mythological bird embodying the spirit of power and resilience.

A group of saker falcons is known as an 'eyrie' or 'bazaar'.

Hayabusa from Disney's Mulan is a saker falcon.

Why is the saker falcon endangered?

The saker falcon population is increasingly becoming endangered because of rapid habitat loss and destruction. One of the reasons for their population decline is the illegal trading of sakers to the Middle East for falconry and prestigious petting. Poaching of these birds, electrocution, and accidental pesticide poisoning pose direct threats to their survival in the wild. As a saker falcon's stick nest is placed in trees, humans playfully pelt stones and kill unborn birds.  

Are Sakers the rarest falcons?

Yes, saker falcons are the rarest and the mightiest of the falcon bird species. The most common falcons are peregrine falcons, however, sakers are the largest of this species.  A mix between a saker falcon and a peregrine falcon is called a golden saker falcon.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including sea eagle or shikra.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Saker falcon coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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