It has come to my attention that whenever “peregrine falcon” is searched in Google Images, a photo of an aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis) appears as one of the first results. Unfortunately, many inexperienced birders who see this image believe it to be a peregrine falcon when it is not.
Below is the image in question:
(Photo by NASA)
I will take this time to point out that this is not a peregrine falcon. A lot of people reference this image for peregrine falcon artwork. Firstly, notice the turtle shell pattern on the abdomen and the orange legs. This plumage characteristic is not shared with a peregrine. Peregrine falcons have a barred abdomen. Secondly, notice the white stripe (which is can also be orange) that extends towards the crown on the head that begins just above the eye. Peregrines do not have this either, although juvenile peregrines may appear to have similar stripes on the head in their juvenile plumage, it is never white.