24 Jun 2009

Types of Falcon Species

By Nick Askew

Below is shown a list of falcon species. Members of the falcon familiy are roughly divisible into three or four groups.

The first contains the kestrels. Kestrels feed chiefly on terrestrial vertebrates and invertebrates of appropriate size, such as rodents, reptiles, or insects.

The second group contains slightly larger (on average) and more elegant species, the hobbies and relatives. These birds are characterized by considerable amounts of dark slaty grey in their plumage; the malar area is nearly always black. They feed mainly on smaller birds.

Third are the Peregrine Falcon and its relatives: large powerful birds which also have a black malar area (except some very light colour morphs), and often a black cap also. Otherwise, they are somewhat intermediate between the other groups, being chiefly medium grey with some lighter or brownish colours on the upper side. They are on average more delicately patterned than the hobbies and if the hierofalcons are excluded, this group contains typically species with horizontal barring on the underside. Very similar to these and sometimes included therein are the 4 or so species of hierofalcons (literally, "hawk-falcons"). They represent taxa with usually more phaeomelanins which impart reddish or brown colours, and generally more strongly patterned plumage reminiscent of hawks. Notably, their undersides have a lengthwise pattern of blotches, lines or arrowhead marks.


Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans LC
Barred Forest-falcon Micrastur ruficollis LC
Plumbeous Forest-falcon Micrastur plumbeus VU
Lined Forest-falcon Micrastur gilvicollis LC
Cryptic Forest-falcon Micrastur mintoni LC
Slaty-backed Forest-falcon Micrastur mirandollei LC
Collared Forest-falcon Micrastur semitorquatus LC
Buckley's Forest-falcon Micrastur buckleyi LC
Spot-winged Falconet Spiziapteryx circumcincta LC
Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway LC
Southern Caracara Caracara plancus LC
Guadalupe Caracara Caracara lutosa EX
Red-throated Caracara Ibycter americanus LC
Carunculated Caracara Phalcoboenus carunculatus LC
Mountain Caracara Phalcoboenus megalopterus LC
White-throated Caracara Phalcoboenus albogularis LC
Striated Caracara Phalcoboenus australis NT
Black Caracara Daptrius ater LC
Yellow-headed Caracara Milvago chimachima LC
Chimango Caracara Milvago chimango LC
Pygmy Falcon Polihierax semitorquatus LC
White-rumped Falcon Polihierax insignis NT
Collared Falconet Microhierax caerulescens LC
Black-thighed Falconet Microhierax fringillarius LC
White-fronted Falconet Microhierax latifrons NT
Philippine Falconet Microhierax erythrogenys LC
Pied Falconet Microhierax melanoleucos LC
Brown Falcon Falco berigora LC
Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni VU
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus LC
Madagascar Kestrel Falco newtoni LC
Mauritius Kestrel Falco punctatus VU
Seychelles Kestrel Falco araea VU
Reunion Kestrel Falco buboisi EX
Spotted Kestrel Falco moluccensis LC
Nankeen Kestrel Falco cenchroides LC
American Kestrel Falco sparverius LC
Greater Kestrel Falco rupicoloides LC
Fox Kestrel Falco alopex LC
Grey Kestrel Falco ardosiaceus LC
Dickinson's Kestrel Falco dickinsoni LC
Banded Kestrel Falco zoniventris LC
Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera LC
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus NT
Amur Falcon Falco amurensis LC
Eleonora's Falcon Falco eleonorae LC
Sooty Falcon Falco concolor NT
Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis LC
Merlin Falco columbarius LC
Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis LC
Eurasian Hobby Falco subbuteo LC
African Hobby Falco cuvierii LC
Oriental Hobby Falco severus LC
Australian Hobby Falco longipennis LC
New Zealand Falcon Falco novaeseelandiae NT
Grey Falcon Falco hypoleucos NT
Black Falcon Falco subniger LC
Lanner Falcon Falco biarmicus LC
Laggar Falcon Falco jugger NT
Saker Falcon Falco cherrug VU
Gyr Falcon Falco rusticolus LC
Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus LC
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus LC
Barbary Falcon Falco pelegrinoides LC
Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus LC
Taita Falcon Falco fasciinucha NT

Image: List of falcon species (David Ian Roberts)