From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Falcon is any of several species of raptors in the genus Falco. The word came from Latin falco, from Latin falx = "sickle" because of the shape of its wings.
Falcons have thin pointed wings, which give them speed and the ability to change direction rapidly. Peregrine Falcons, the fastest birds on Earth, are said to have reached stoop speeds of up to 200 mph.
Young falcons in their first year have longer flight feathers than adults. This makes their configuration more like a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing while they are learning how to fly.
Other falcons include the Gyrfalcon, Lanner Falcon, and the Merlin. Some small insectivorous falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which sometimes hover as they hunt for small rodents are called kestrels.
The traditional term for a male falcon is a "tiercel", from Latin tertius, because it is roughly a third smaller than the female.
An eyass is a raptor chick still in its downy stage: the word arose by misdivision of Old French un niais, from Latin presumed *nidiscus, from Latin nidus = "nest". Or it is sometimes used for a falcon which had been taken from its nest before it flew.
The technique of hunting with trained captive birds of prey is known as falconry.
The falcons are part of the family Falconidae, which also includes the caracaras, Laughing Falcon, forest falcons, and falconets.
In February 2005 the Canadian scientist Dr Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian intelligence in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. Falcons were named among the most intelligent birds based on this scale.
Species in taxonomic order
- Lesser Kestrel, Falco naumanni
- Common Kestrel, Falco tinnunculus
- Madagascar Kestrel, Falco newtoni
- Mauritius Kestrel, Falco punctatus
- Seychelles Kestrel, Falco araea
- Spotted Kestrel, Falco moluccensis
- Nankeen Kestrel, Falco cenchroides
- American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
- Greater Kestrel, Falco rupicoloides
- Fox Kestrel, Falco alopex
- Grey Kestrel, Falco ardosiaceus
- Dickinson's Kestrel, Falco dickinsoni
- Banded Kestrel, Falco zoniventris
- Red-necked Falcon, Falco chicquera
- Red-footed Falcon, Falco vespertinus
- Amur Falcon, Falco amurensis
- Eleonora's Falcon, Falco eleonorae
- Sooty Falcon, Falco concolor
- Aplomado Falcon, Falco femoralis
- Merlin Falcon, Falco columbarius
- Bat Falcon, Falco rufigularis
- Orange-breasted Falcon, Falco deiroleucus
- Eurasian Hobby, Falco subbuteo
- African Hobby, Falco cuvierii
- Oriental Hobby, Falco severus
- Australian Hobby, Falco longipennis
- New Zealand Falcon, Falco novaeseelandiae
- Brown Falcon, Falco berigora
- Grey Falcon, Falco hypoleucos
- Lanner Falcon, Falco biarmicus
- Laggar Falcon, Falco jugger
- Saker Falcon, Falco cherrug
- Black Falcon, Falco subniger
- Gyr Falcon, Falco rusticolus
- Prairie Falcon, Falco mexicanus
- Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus
- Barbary Falcon, Falco (peregrinus) pelegrinoides
- Taita Falcon, Falco fasciinucha
- Pygmy Falcon, Falco pigmeo
- Falconidae videos on the Internet Bird Collection