Friday, November 6, 2009
The Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) is a large bird of prey that breeds in Africa, southeast Europe and just into Asia.
It is mainly resident, but some birds disperse more widely after the breeding season.
It is a large falcon, at 43–50 cm length with a wingspan of 95-105 cm.
European Lanner Falcons (Falco biarmicus feldeggi, also called Feldegg's Falcon) have slate grey or brown-grey upperparts; most African subspecies are a paler blue grey above.
The breast is streaked in northern birds, resembling greyish Saker Falcons, but the Lanner has a reddish back to the head. Sexes are similar, but the browner young birds resemble Saker Falcons even more.
However, Sakers have a lighter top of the head and less clear head-side patterns. The Lanner's call is a harsh "wray-e".
The Lanner Falcon is a bird of open country and savanna.
It usually hunts by horizontal pursuit, rather than the Peregrine's stoop from a height, and takes mainly bird prey in flight.
It lays 3-4 eggs on a cliff ledge nest, or occasionally in an old stick nest in a tree.