Sakers are adaptable hunters and their mode of hunting can vary according to type of prey. When hunting small birds like larks in flight they can be highly manoeuvrable and agile hunters, whereas when hunting abundant, slow moving mammals such as pikas they simply drop on their prey from a perch above.
When hunting they can use thermals to gain height, rising high in wide circles, whereupon they can swoop down on prey usually in a shallow dive. Other hunting techniques include flying low over the ground or along hillsides in search of ground dwelling prey.
The Saker diet varies depending on prey availability, although they predominantly feed on small to medium-sized diurnal rodents and lagomorphs such as sousliks, voles and pikas. Birds also feature in the diet of Saker Falcons, especially small to medium-sized species such as pigeons, starlings and larks. To a lesser extent Sakers also feed on reptiles and large insects.
Some examples of common mammalian prey species:
Some examples of common avian prey species: