Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)


Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor)


French: Faucon concolore German: Schieferfalke Spanish: Halcón pizarroso

Falco concolor


, 1825,

Senegal, etc.; error = Barqan Island, Gulf of Aqaba


Sometimes considered to form a species-pair with F. eleonorae. Monotypic.


E Libya through Egypt, Israel, Jordan and NW Saudi Arabia to coasts of Red Sea and Persian Gulf, and SW Pakistan. Winters in Madagascar; smaller numbers also in coastal SE Africa.

Descriptive notes

32–36 cm; 298–350 g; wingspan 75–88 cm. Medium-sized, all-grey falcon. Female differs from male in showing less contrast between primaries and wing-... read more


Generally silent, except around nest. Most frequent calls are a fast-repeated “kee-kee-kee...” or a... read more


Breeds in rugged or mountainous desert areas with canyons, cliffs, or at least some small crags;... read more

Food and feeding

In breeding season, mainly small birds on autumn migration, as native vertebrate fauna is very rare in breeding areas; occasionally bats... read more


Laying in Jul–Aug, with raising of chicks timed to coincide with peak in migration of small birds; nests Jun–Oct on Eritrean... read more


Migratory, wintering mainly in Madagascar; also, to lesser extent, on African mainland, in coastal... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Estimating the total population has proved notoriously difficult. Global population estimated in 2014 at 1400–2000 pairs, equating to 2800–... read more

Recommended citation

Orta, J., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P., Marks, J.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor). 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 13 December 2019).