I and the Bird: What is a Falcon?
Over at 10,000 Birds they've put together a brilliant "I and the Bird" on Falcons - starting with the (to me, very) startling news that falcons aren't closely related to hawks at all - they're actually closer ot parrots!
Once separated from the hawks and eagles, we begin to see falcons as they really are. Yeah, the diurnal hunting thing was a huge reason they were put together in the first place, but falcons have a range of adaptations to their unique and remarkable lifestyle that are not shared by any of the other diurnal raptors. For starters, they have the little notch in their bill that delivers the killing blow to spinal cords. They have small bony protuberances in their nostrils that baffles air flow and allows them to breathe while flying at high speeds. And there are those remarkable pointed wings, and their reputation for intelligence not shared with the rest of their former family. These are special birds.This is just one nugget of information you can find, along with spectacular photos, in "I and the Bird: What is a Falcon?" Definitely check it out.