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Species: Falco biarmicus
Falco biarmicus is found as far north as the central/eastern Mediterranean region, extending south throughout most of Africa. Primarily a sedentary species, F. biarmicus does not migrate, though extensive wandering is frequently observed in Africa, especially in juveniles and non-breeding adults. In fact, ringed individuals have been recovered as far as 1528 km from their breeding territory. Lanner falcons are also known to move according to weather patterns, they move into desert areas after rain and out of forested areas during mist/heavy rain.
Physical Description - Mass 500 to 900 g
(17.6 to 31.68 oz, length 35 to 50 cm
(13.78 to 19.69 in, wingspan 90 to 110 cm
(35.43 to 43.31 in)
The breeding season for Falcon biarmicus varies significantly throughout its range. In southern Europe and northern Africa, the laying period is February through May. In the Sahara, western and northeastern Africa, the laying period is from January through March. In east, central and south Africa, the laying period is from June through November. Nesting habitat also varies; typical sites include abandoned raptor or heron nests, in trees, cliff faces, on the ground (desert areas) and buildings. A brood typically includes 3 to 4 eggs with an incubation period of around 32 days, fledging occurs in 35 to 47 days.
Falco biarmicus is known for its swiftness and agility in flight, as well as its loud, repeated "kak-kak" call. Lanner falcons are solitary birds outside of mating season, though they are frequently observed hunting in pairs when pursuing larger prey. Cooperative hunting is also used to teach their young how to catch prey in flight. They are diurnal and do not migrate, but are known to range hundreds of miles from their breeding territory.
Communication and Perception
Like all raptors, Falco biarmicus relies mostly on its keen sense of sight to hunt prey both in the air and on the ground. It has a variety of calls for different situations and communicates with other individuals acoustically, especially in territorial disputes and courtship rituals. It is known for its loud, repeated "kak-kak" call. (The Central Pets Educational Foundation, 2003)
Lanner falcons are carnivores. They feed on a variety of terrestrial and flying prey. Their main food sources are smaller birds, especially quails and columbids. Falco biarmicus also feeds on lizards, rodents, and bats, as well as spiders and scorpions in desert areas. If competition for these food resources is high, or locusts and other flying insects are swarming, F. biarmicus will also gorge itself on insects.
This falcon was at Zoo Atlanta, and is the mascot for our football team, the Atlanta Falcons. It flies around the Georgia Dome filled with 75,000 screaming fans and doesn't bat an eye.
Photo was cropped and sharpened. This is my first contribution to sAner's theme "Movie Oneliners"!
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