Brown Falcon

Brown Falcon

(Falco berigora)

The Brown falcon is one bird found across the whole of the Australian continent. Also called the Cackling Hawk.  A medium sized falcon that glides on raised wings, flight heavy and slow. Hovers unsteadily, usually seen flying over open spaces, commonly perching with an upright posture on wires, posts, fences. Despite being quite board winged for a falcon they are deceptively agile.

Description: Plumage ranging from almost wholly dark sooty brown to birds with reddish0 brown backs and pale undersides, dark marks below and around eye, double “tear drop” mark on cheek.  Variable colour thought to be different morphs, but also found it represents differences due to age and sex. Tail rounded, Wings underparts pale, barred, thighs always- dark brown, legs long.

Size: 40-50cm

Voice: Raucous cackles and screeches

Feeding: They are great opportunistic hunters catching a vast array of prey from rabbits, birds, galahs, snakes, insects, mice, small birds – catching them by pouncing on them rather than taking on the wing.

Nests: are a platform made of sticks and twigs, lined with bark fragment, unusually the abandoned nest of some other bird of prey.

Habitat: Found across both open and woodland habitats, usually avoids thick closed forests.Prefer open grassland and agricultural areas.  Around outback towns, the birds become quite tame.

Location:  All of Australia generally

Eggs: 2-4 eggs, buff, usually covered with reddish-brown blotches

Breeding season: June-November. Both sexes share the incubation of the eggs and both care for the young however the female performs the bulk of these duties while the male supplies the food.

Acknowledgements: Field Guide to the Birds of Australia: Simpson and Day,  A Naturalists Guide to the Birds of Australia: Dean Ingwersen National Geographic, What Bird is that?: Neville W Cayleys

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