Hybrid white gyrfalcon and saker falcon.
|About 37; see text.|
A Falcon is any of several species of raptors in the genus Falco. The word came from Latin falco, from Latin falx = "sickle" because of the shape of its wings.
Falcons have thin pointed wings, which give them speed and the ability to change direction rapidly. Peregrine Falcons, the fastest birds on Earth, are said to have reached stoop speeds of up to 200 mph.
Young falcons in their first year have longer flight feathers than adults. This makes their configuration more like a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing while they are learning how to fly.
Other falcons include the Gyrfalcon, Lanner Falcon, and the Merlin. Some small insectivorous falcons with long, narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which sometimes hover as they hunt for small rodents are called kestrels.
The traditional term for a male falcon is a "tiercel", from Latin tertius, because it is roughly a third smaller than the female.
An eyass is a raptor chick still in its downy stage: the word arose by misdivision of Old French un niais, from Latin presumed *nidiscus, from Latin nidus = "nest". Or it is sometime sused for a falcon which had been taken from its nest before it flew.
The technique of hunting with trained captive birds of prey is known as falconry.
The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, Laughing Falcon, forest falcons, and falconets.
In February 2005 the Canadian scientist Dr Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian IQ in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. Falcons were named among the most intelligent birds based on this scale.
Falcon fossils have been found dated 50 million years ago in the Eocene in the Messel Pit in Germany.
Species in taxonomic order
- Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumanni
Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
Madagascar Kestrel, Falco newtoni
Mauritius Kestrel, Falco punctatus
Seychelles Kestrel, Falco araea
Spotted Kestrel, Falco moluccensis
Nankeen Kestrel, Falco cenchroides
American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
Greater Kestrel, Falco rupicoloides
Fox Kestrel, Falco alopex
Grey Kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus
Dickinson's Kestrel, Falco dickinsoni
Banded Kestrel, Falco zoniventris
Red-necked Falcon, Falco chicquera
Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus
Amur Falcon, Falco amurensis
Eleonora's Falcon, Falco eleonorae
Sooty Falcon, Falco concolor
Aplomado Falcon, Falco femoralis
Merlin Falcon, Falco columbarius
Bat Falcon, Falco rufigularis
Orange-breasted Falcon, Falco deiroleucus
Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo
African Hobby, Falco cuvierii
Oriental Hobby, Falco severus
Australian Hobby, Falco longipennis
New Zealand Falcon, Falco novaeseelandiae
Brown Falcon, Falco berigora
Grey Falcon, Falco hypoleucos
Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus
Laggar Falcon, Falco jugger
Saker Falcon, Falco cherrug
Black Falcon, Falco subniger
Gyr Falcon, Falco rusticolus
Prairie Falcon, Falco mexicanus
Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus
Barbary Falcon, Falco (peregrinus) pelegrinoides
Taita Falcon, Falco fasciinucha
- Falconidae videos on the Internet Bird Collection