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Lanner Falcon

Falco biarmicus

Family:

Falconidae, the falcon family.

Conservation Status:

Least Concern IUCN.

Distribution:

Africa, southeastern Europe and Mediterranean Asia

Habitat:

From flat, dry areas near sea level to forested mountains, plus open or lightly wooded hunting areas, and rocky formations or cliffs for nesting.

Factoid:

They are frequently observed hunting in pairs when pursuing larger prey.

A medium-sized falcon, females are larger than males. Adults have slate -gray backs, juveniles are brown and both adults and juveniles have off-white or reddish-brown undersides streaked with gray. Their heads are reddish-brown or white with a black “moustache” stripe. Females are usually darker than males.

They hunt a variety of terrestrial and flying prey. Their diet consists of birds, especially quail, but they also take lizards, rodents and bats, or spiders and scorpions in desert areas.
Adults have no known predators, and they thrive in any area left alone by humans. However, eggs are vulnerable to scavengers, as well as humans who rob nests for the pet/falconry industry.

They are monogamous. Both males and females engage in elaborate courtship displays during a breeding season that varies significantly throughout their range. Nesting sites include abandoned raptor or heron nests, trees, cliff faces, on the ground (desert areas) and on buildings. 3 to 4 eggs are laid, which both parents incubate, with an incubation period of around 32 days; fledging takes 35 to 47 days. Males hunt alone at first to feed the chicks, but females assist later. They are solitary outside the breeding season.

 

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