With over 37 species of falcons worldwide this species of Raptor is widely distributed across all the continents of the world except Antarctica. This page however as is this site mainly focuses on Falcons of South and Southern Africa.
One of the common denominators of all Falcons irrespective of location however is the ability to fly at high speed with quick precise changes in their direction. This is mainly due to the adult Falcons thin tapered wings, this attribute alone gives Falcons exceptional skills required to be the effective hunters they are. Another little known anomaly, Falcons kill with their beaks, using a "tooth" on the side of their beak, unlike hawks, eagles and other birds of prey in the Accipitridae family, which use their feet normally.
As in all birds of prey Falcons have exceptional vision the visual acuity of one Falcon species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.
Split into several groups which include the Hobbies and Kestrels' and of varying sizes Falcons include one of Africa's smallest of Falcon visitors, it is in fact migratory, the Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis). This small insectivorous eating Falcon is a Afro-Paleartic Migrant flying some 22,000 km's round trip to reach Southern Africa and back from Eastern Siberia where it breeds.
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Return to:- Birds of Southern Africa