Bird Mating in Flight part 2
Date: Fall 2012
Do Falcons mate in the air?
No. Peregrines and many other falcons perform sometimes spectacular
aerial courtship displays, but they must land to actually mate. You
can find pictures and video by an internet search for "falcon mating."
Thanks for the questnoi. I am not aware of any bird that mates while in the air. If you find one that does, I would be curious to know.
When I was studying Red-tailed hawks in the 70's, I observed the aerial courtship displays that looked as though the pair was mating in flight since they grasped one another talons and fell together a great distance in what could be mistaken as mating. This in-flight mating behavior was suggested by a well known ornithologist by the name of Cleveland Bent in the 1930's. However, it was a misinterpretation of a mating ritual and actual mating usually takes place on tree limbs. This behavior is represented of many diurnal raptors.
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Update: November 2011