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Red-necked Falcon
Falco chicquera

Falconiforme Order – Falconidae Family

Length : 28-36 cm 
Wingspan : 55-69 cm
Weight : M : 139-178 g - F : 190-305 g

Red-necked Falcon is a small, short-winged falcon with long tail.

Upperparts are blue-grey, finely barred with dark grey to black. Flight feathers are black. Tail is grey, with black bars, and a broad, black subterminal black band and white tip.

Underparts are two tones. Chin, throat and chest are pinkish-rufous or white. Rest of underparts, including wing coverts, belly, vent and thighs are white or pale grey, finely barred with black. Tail is whitish, finely barred with black, and with subterminal black band and white tips.

Red-necked Falcon feeds mainly on birds and bats caught on the wing. It also consumes large insects taken on the ground.

Red-necked Falcon is locally common and frequent resident year round. Species is relatively widespread in its range.

Fr: Faucon chicquera
All : Rothalsfalke
Esp : Alcotán Turumti
Ital : Falco testarossa
Nd : Roodkopsmelleken
Russe : Красношейный сокол
Sd : Rödhuvad falk

Photographs by Steve Garvie
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Photograph by Callie de Wet
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Jean Marc Rabby
Des Ailes et des Plumes

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 2 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334156

BIRDS OF PREY OF AFRICA AND ITS ISLANDS by Alan and Meg Kemp - Struik Publishers - ISBN: 1770073698

Avibase (Lepage Denis)

Wikipedia (Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia)


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Summary Cards




Crown, nape and hind neck are rich chestnut. Cheeks are pinkish-rufous to white. We can see black eyebrow and malar stripe. Bill is black, with yellow base and cere. Eyes are dark brown with yellow eye-ring. Long, bare legs and talons are bright yellow.

Both sexes are similar in plumage, but female is about 10% larger than male.
Immature has grey-brown upperparts. Crown and nape are brown, instead chestnut. Underparts have indistinct barring, almost unmarked, except on flanks.

The Indian form of this species has rufous malar stripes, and it is less heavily barred than African species.

Red-necked Falcon calls infrequently. But it may utter high, repeated, sharp notes, shrill, screaming “kek-kek-kek-kek-kek”.

Red-necked Falcon lives in semi-desert, palm savannahs, areas with sparse vegetation and with some large trees, watercourses in desert, flood and coastal plains, and forest edges.

Red-necked Falcon is widespread resident in sub-Saharan Africa, and in India and Nepal.

Red-necked Falcon hunts birds, bats and large insects. They often hunt in pairs. One of the birds flies low above the ground and flushes up small bird and the other follows the prey higher and catches it at the edge of the cover. They are more active at dawn and dusk.

It also dashes after prey from an exposed perch below the canopy of a tree. It soars and dives on prey less often than other birds of prey, but it may catch birds in flight, after long and fast pursuit.

Red-necked Falcon is resident, performing some dispersion, according to food resources.

Red-necked Falcon performs a dashing flight, with rapid beats of its pointed wings. Flapping is interspersed with glides. It may fly very fast with rapid, powerful wing beats.

Red-necked Falcon nests in old stick nests, abandoned by other birds. Nest is generally at the top of an isolated tree, or in palm tree. It reuses the same nest-site in the latter part of dry season.

Female lays 3 to 4 eggs on debris accumulated in the base of palm frondescence or in the nest. Incubation lasts about 32 to 35 days. Young leave the nest at about 5 to 6 weeks of age.