Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) - African Wildlife and Nature Photographs

Amur Falcon

Family: Falconidae

Genus: Falco

The Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is one of the smallest of the Falcon family. Amur Falcons breed in Northern China and North Eastern Siberia and migrate in large flocks to South and Southern Africa arriving (Southern Hemisphere) around September/October each year and leave around April/May. Due to their migratory patterns they are thus known in Southern Africa as a Afro-Paleartic Migrant.

In the past the Amur Falcon was thought to be a sub-species of the Red-footed Falcon, it was then known as the Eastern Red-footed Falcon but it is nowadays considered distinct species. Male and female Amur Falcons differ greatly in colour with the males being dark grey with reddish brown thighs and under-tail covert's, reddish orange eye-ring, cere and feet. Females on the other hand are duller above with dark scaly markings on white underparts, an orange eye ring, cere, and legs.

Being insectivorous the Amur Falcons diet consists mainly of insects such as 'termites' which are found in abundance during the 'warm' rain storms which are quite regular in the Southern African summer months. It is generally understood that during their long migration over the sea the Amur Falcon feeds on migrating dragonflies as they capture most of their prey 'on the wing' like Swallows.

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