Bird of the week – Brown Falcon Falco berigora

 

The Brown Falcon is a small to medium bird of prey. It is usually seen perched on high branches or power lines. Its call is a loud cackling sound made when flying.

What the Brown Falcon looks like

The Brown Falcon is 41-51 cm in length. It is mostly brown, but there are six colour forms which range from very dark brown to light brown above and brown to cream below. It may have bars or spots. The Brown Falcon has a brown tear-stripe below the eyes. It has a blue-grey beak, brown eyes and pale grey legs and feet with black talons.

Where the Brown Falcon lives

The Brown Falcon lives throughout Australia. It also lives in New Guinea. It is found in woodlands, grasslands and farmlands with trees or power lines for perching.

What the Brown Falcon eats

The Brown Falcon eats small mammals, small birds, lizards, snakes and insects. It usually hunts by sitting on a high perch then dropping onto prey. It picks up and carries prey with its feet.

How the Brown Falcon breeds

Brown Falcons breed at different times in different places.

The adults breed from winter to spring in the south and spring to autumn in the north. Courting birds fly in circles and glide with their wings held in a V-shape. They mate.

The female lays two to six (usually three) eggs in an old stick nest of another bird. Both parents sit on the eggs to keep them warm.

The chicks hatch after about four and a half weeks.

The male hunts and the female feeds the prey he catches to the chicks. The chicks leave the nest after six and a half weeks. They grow into breeding adults.

Australian daytime birds of prey

birds of prey

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