Falcons
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Falcons have rounded heads, dark-eyes, relatively short legs and long wings that taper to a point. Other raptors such as hawks and eagles belong to a completely different and only distantly related family, and have paler eyes, shorter, rather rounded wings and longer legs. Lanner Falcon L: 46 cm (18") |WS: 90–110 cm (35–43") This large, bulky, strong-flying falcon has relatively long, broad wings . It has the characteristic head pattern of most falcons – white face with a darker crown and strong black ‘tear’ marks – while the rusty cap that extends to the nape is diagnostic . Immatures are browner than adults, and are heavily blotched underneath, with a pale brown cap . Although the Lanner is uncommon in Kruger, it is the most frequently seen resident falcon . It usually breeds on cliff ledges, although birds can be seen anywhere in the park as they hunt on the wing, feeding mostly on birds which they either pursue in level flight or take on the ground . VU Eurasian Hobby L: 36 cm (14") |WS: 69–84 cm (27–33") A small, dark-backed falcon with a dark hood and long, dark ‘tear-drop’ moustachial streaks and ‘notch’ behind the eye that contrast with the white cheeks and throat . The cere (fleshy area around the nostrils), eye-ring and legs are yellow . The underside is white with thick black streaks, and the ‘trousers’ and vent are pale rufous . Immatures have buff feather fringes . Confusion is possible with female Amur Falcon, but that species is smaller, has a pale buff vent, orange legs and cere, spotted underparts and white underwings . The Eurasian Hobby is an uncommon spring and summer (October–April) non-breeding visitor to Kruger, preying on large insects, such as dragonflies, as well as bats and fast-flying birds, often hunting at dawn and dusk . It feeds opportunistically and can gather in large groups . Falcons 194 Amur Falcon L: 30 cm (12") |WS: 63–71 cm (25–28") A small falcon with an orange-red cere, eye-ring and legs . The male is mainly sooty-grey with a chestnut vent, whereas the female is mostly greyish, with a speckled chest and buff to white vent . In flight the male appears bicoloured, with white underwing coverts and otherwise dark underparts, while the female is speckled grey on white, and has a barred tail . The immature is like the female but browner . This is a fairly common late spring and summer (November–April) non-breeding visitor to Kruger and is highly sociable and nomadic, flocks tracking local rainfall events . It feeds mainly on insects, hunting from a perch or by hovering, and frequently attends termite emergences (often after rain storms), where it can eat up to 20 termites per minute . BIRDS OF PREY AND VULTURES lanner falcon female male amur falcon eurasian hobby male 195 ...