Barbary Falcon (Falco pelegrinoides)

Barbary Falcon

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Falco pelegrinoides | [authority] Temminck, 1829 | [UK] Barbary Falcon | [FR] Faucon pelerin | [DE] Wustenfalke | [ES] Halcon Peregrino | [NL] Barbarijnse Valk


Monotypic species


Members of the genus falco are mostly medium-sized falcons, but vary from the large peregrine falcon to the small American kestrel. The wings are long and pointed and used almost continuously during flight. The bill is short, powerful, and with a distinct ‘tooth’ on each side. Most falcons of this group have a black teardrop-shaped ‘mustache’ mark on each side of the head. Falcons are fastflying birds of open country and are famous for attaining high speeds as they dive from high altitudes to knock birds out of the air.

Physical charateristics

Smallest than Falco peregrinus , with relatively short tail.
Prominent “moustache” usually evident in all ages. Rather variable, with upperparts various tones of rufous and rusty colors. Underparts white to rufous crossed with variable bars.
Female larger than male.
Juvenile has upperparts with tones of black to pale brown, underparts streaked.

wingspan min.: 80 cm wingspan max.: 110 cm
size min.: 38 cm size max.: 45 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 27 days fledging max.: 30 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Eurasia : Southwest, also North AF


Very variable, from sea-level to mountains. Wet marine and arid deserts.
But often forages out to gravel plains, open fields and settlements. outside breeding season, extends accidentally to semi-deserts and Mediterranean Climates.


No nests built, eggs laid in scrape of depression on cliff ledges in canyons and wide wadis, also on high electricity pylons occasionally in disused stick nest of another raptors.
2-5 eggs, incubation 28-30, male provides most of food during first half of nestling periods.
Chicks have white first down, and greyer second down.
Sexual maturity at 2 years.

Feeding habits

Mainly birds, occasionally mammals and sometimes insects, reptiles and exceptionally fish.
Birds taken mainly in flight, when searching for prey, often flies high or perches at prominent site. Prey once located, typically pursued at great speed, frequently culminating in very rapid stoop.
Prey normally killed in mid-air, but sometimes on ground.

Video Barbary Falcon


copyright: youtube


This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km2. The global population has been estimated to be 5,000-10,000 individuals (Ferguson-Lees et al. 2001), but this may be overly pessimistic, and the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Falco pelegrinoides has a predominantly North African distribution, which extends into Europe in the Canary Islands and Turkey. Its European breeding population is extremely small (as few as 75 pairs), but was stable between 1970-1990. The Canary Islands population increased during 1990-2000, and the species underwent a moderate increase overall. Although the size of the European population could render it susceptible to the risks affecting small populations, it is marginal to a much larger non-European population. Consequently, the species is evaluated as Secure.
Barbary Falcon status Least Concern


Mainly resident, and tied almost throughout year to breeding areas.
Juveniles and immatures disperse and also migrate

Distribution map

Barbary Falcon distribution range map


Title Density, habitat selection and breeding success
of an insular population of Barbary Falcon
Falco peregrinus pelegrinoides
Author(s): Beneharo Rodrguez et al.
Abstract: We studied density, habitat selection and reproduc..[more]..
Source: ARDEA 95(2), 2007

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