Black Shaheen

Black Shaheen  (Falco peregrinator, or Falco atriceps )

This hawk is decidedly smaller than the true peregrine, the female hardly exceeding a big tiercel in length or weight. It is distinguished by the darker colour of its head, and especially of the sides and moustachial streak, which may be called black. The under parts of the body have a more or less pronounced rufous tinge; and the ends of the wings, when closed, approach more nearly to the end of the tail.

The black shaheen is docile, and more easily reclaimed than the peregrine; and is a great favourite with some of the Indian falconers, although the many distinguished Europeans who have flown hawks in that country express themselves less satisfied, and rather doubt the courage of peregrinator in the field. The quarry is the same as that of the peregrine, but it is only the strongest individuals which can be expected to cope with such heavy birds as the latter can tackle. Of the rapidity of its flight there can be no doubt; but Colonel Delmé Radcliffe says that it is inferior to the peregrine in “ringing” flights.