Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Black Falcon (Falco subniger)


French: Faucon noir German: Rußfalke Spanish: Halcón negro

Falco subniger

G. R. Gray

, 1843,

Victoria, Australia




Australia except most of W & SW and part of coastal Northern Territory.

Descriptive notes

45–56 cm; male 510–710 g, female 610–1000 g; wingspan 96–115 cm. Medium large Falco, distinctively broader-winged than most congeners and has... read more


Rather silent, even when confronted by intruders around nest, when most commonly gives loud scream... read more


Sparse eucalyptus woodland, savanna, scrubby grassland and farmland, often close to watercourses or... read more

Food and feeding

Mammals, birds, large insects and carrion; rarely reptiles. Commonly young rabbits and rats (perhaps mainly in breeding season); birds such... read more


May–Mar, usually Jul–Sept. Solitary, though may nest near raptors of other species. Uses large stick nests of other raptors or... read more


Poorly understood. Partly migratory and dispersive (perhaps nomadic); apparently some regular... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Generally uncommon but widespread; may be locally common in arid zone in wet years. Reported densities of one pair/1... read more

Recommended citation

Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Black Falcon (Falco subniger). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 January 2020).