Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Near Threatened

Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus)


Taxonomy

French: Faucon kobez German: Rotfußfalke Spanish: Cernícalo patirrojo
Other common names: Western Red-footed Falcon
Taxonomy:

Falco vespertinus

Linnaeus

, 1766,

Ingria = Province of St Petersburg, west Russia

.

Very close to F. amurensis, with which has frequently been considered conspecific. Monotypic.

Distribution:

C Europe (from Estonia, Slovakia and Hungary) E through NC Asia to extreme NW China and upper R Lena. Winters mainly in SW Africa, from Angola, Namibia and N South Africa through Botswana to Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Descriptive notes

27–32 cm; male 115–190 g, female 130–197 g; wingspan 65–77 cm. Mostly slate-grey, contrasting with chestnut lower belly, undertail-coverts and thighs... read more

Voice

Noisier than some other falcons, both when moving in flocks and at pre-roost gatherings, e.g. high-... read more

Habitat

Open habitats with some tree cover for perching, roosting and breeding. Steppe, wooded steppe,... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly insects, especially Orthoptera (crickets, locusts, grasshoppers); also beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, moths, cicadas. Wide... read more

Breeding

Laying mostly at end of May, but overall season lasts mid Apr to Aug. Solitary or colonial, with tens and up to 100s of pairs at colonies.... read more

Movements

Migratory, travelling great distances (mostly at high altitude) between Palearctic breeding areas... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. CITES II. Marked decline, particularly in S of breeding range, probably due, directly or indirectly, to... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/53226 on 20 October 2018).