Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Brown Falcon (Falco berigora)


French: Faucon bérigora German: Habichtfalke Spanish: Halcón berigora

Falco Berigora

Vigors and Horsfield

, 1827,

New South Wales, Australia


Has in the past been placed in genus Hieracidea (or Ieracidea) with F. novaeseelandiae, to which closely related. Race occidentalis often subsumed within nominate. Several additional races described, but much confusion owing to complexity of colour morphs, and studies suggest that most are invalid: thus melvillensis (from Melville I, off N Northern Territory), centralia (arid interior Australia) and tasmanicus (Tasmania) all included within nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • F. b. novaeguineae (A. B. Meyer, 1894) – C & E New Guinea, including islands of N coast (Manam, Karkar, Long), and coastal N Australia.
  • F. b. berigora Vigors & Horsfield, 1827 – N, C & E Australia, and Tasmania and nearby islands.
  • F. b. occidentalis (Gould, 1844) – SW & CW Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    41–51 cm; male 316–590 g, female 430–860 g; wingspan 88–115 cm. Medium- to large-sized, round-shouldered falcon with long legs (unique for the... read more


    Quite vocal, including away from the nesting area. Main call is a repeated raucous screaming “... read more


    Found in a wide variety of habitats, being consistently absent only from dense stands of rainforest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mammals, birds, reptiles (commonly snakes), amphibians, arthropods and carrion; rarely fish and freshwater molluscs (the latter perhaps... read more


    Apr–Sept in N, Aug–Oct in S. Solitary. Uses old stick nest of other raptor or Corvus in tree; rarely on tree fern,... read more


    Adults generally sedentary, or with local movements to winter territories. Juveniles dispersive or... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common and widespread, especially in Australia, where one of the two most common falconids; generally uncommon in New... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Brown Falcon (Falco berigora). 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 27 January 2020).