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Pygmy Falcon

From Opus

 Photo by BintyNorthern Cape, South Africa November, 2017
Photo by Binty
Northern Cape, South Africa November, 2017
Polihierax semitorquatus


[edit] Identification

Female or immaturePhoto by MybsKgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa December 2004
Female or immature
Photo by Mybs
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa December 2004

18–21 cm (7-8¼ in); a tiny raptor
Most often, the side of head is white all around the eye, more rarely with a dark stripe through the eye or with the grey cap reaching lower down. Rump is white, and in flight, the entire underside looks white.

Male has grey upperside while female has chestnut back, and immature is mostly like female.

[edit] Distribution

Eastern and southern Africa: breeding in East Africa in northern and western Somalia, eastern Ethiopia, south-east Sudan and northern Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

In southern Africa occurs in south Angola, eastern Namibia, Botswana and north-central South Africa. Resident.

[edit] Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species1.
Two subspecies are sometimes recognised: P. s. semitorquatus in southern Africa and P. s. castanotus in eastern Africa3.

[edit] Habitat

FemalePhoto by LekromAugrabies Falls National Park, South Africa, May 2009
Photo by Lekrom
Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa, May 2009

Semi-desert, acacia savanna and open woodland.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Prey consists primarily of large insects, such as beetles, grasshopper and termites, also small reptiles and rodents.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Sinclair et al. 2002. Birds of Southern Africa. Princeton Field Guides, Princeton, New Jersey, USA. ISBN 0-691-09682-1
  3. Avibase
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Feb 2018)

[edit] External Links


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