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Barbary Falcon

Falco pelegrinoides (Temminck, 1829)

Шахин | Бидайық
front view

2012-02-15
Karachingil, Almaty oblast.
© Oleg Belyalov

Description

Closely related to Peregrine Falcon (by many regarded as conspecific). Very much a smaller version of Peregrine, and at times difficult to identify reliably. In size, male only marginally larger than Hobby (but bulkier and ‘chest-heavy’, like Peregrine). Owing to size, wingbeats on average slightly quicker in comparable situations. Based primarily on plumage. Adult: Compared with Peregrine, upperparts are paler blue-grey; flight-feathers from below paler with darker wing-tips and rear edge of outer wing; underbody and underwing-coverts tinged rufous (fresh) or creamy (bleached). Other criteria for Barbary are: barring of underparts less extensive (least barring on male); tendency to show dark terminal band on undertail; hint of dark ‘comma’ below on tips of primary coverts; moustachial stripe narrower; nape rusty-red (requires close range). Juvenile: Resembles juvenile Peregrine, but head is not so dark, forehead, nape and supercilium being rufous-buff; moustachial stripe narrower; tendency to show dark end-band on undertail; and streaking on underbody narrow and concentrated into central area, throat/upper breast and ‘trousers’/lower belly almost unmarked buff-white. L male 33-37 cm, female 36-39 cm, WS male 76-86 cm, female 89-98 cm.

Distribution

Breeds in mountains and at foothills of southern and south-eastern Kazakhstan from Talasskiy Alatau to Tarbagatay ridge or even of Southern Altai. Recent years nests were found in Big Almaty and Issyk gorges. One nest with feathered juveniles was found in mid-August 1917 in Karatal valley in 50 km from Taldy-Kurgan. Probably occupies the raisings in Kyzylkum desert, western steep coast of Aral Sea and Ustyurt chink. On migration and in winter occurs a few wider, prefers the river valleys and human villages in foothills. The juvenile male recorded in February 7th 2004 on Badam reservoir. On Chokpak Station adult male was ringed 29 August 2005.

Biology

Rare breeding migrant, or rare resident in areas to south from Almaty. Inhabits the rocky canyons and foothills up to middle forest belt in altitudes 1000-2000 m; and the riparian forests in desert. Nest is located in the rock hole; usually Barbary Falcon uses the old nest of other birds of prey (of Golden Eagle in two cases). Laying of 4-5 eggs is in March, chicks are born in April, and fledge at the age of 40 days. Until the end of August the brood resides together. The resident birds keep to the nesting place until October.

Subspecies

Falco pelegrinoides babilonicus (Sclater, 1861)

References

Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. L.Svensson, K.Mullarney, D.Zetterström, P.J.Grant “Collins Bird Guide” 1999.

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subspecies

Falco pelegrinoides babilonicus
(Sclater, 1861)

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