Red-footed Falcon
Falco vespertinus

– medium-sized falcon, roughly size of Common Kestrel
– diurnal migrant
– migrates singly or in small to medium loose flocks
– at roosts several hundred may flock


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, 1CY
BIF1569, 15/09/2014, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß
– very similar to 1CY Amur Falcon (white base-colour) and 1CY Eurasian Hobby (darker and more uniform underwing pattern)
– underwing coverts brown pattern somewhat contrasting to more dark brown and white barring of the remiges
– streaking of the body brown and weaker than in Amur Falcon or Eurasian Hobby
– dark eye-mask more distict contrasting to paler crown
– dark trailing edge of the secondaries broader than in 1CY Eurasian Hobby


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, F AD
BIF1570, 11/05/2011, Pavlodar, Kazakhstan, Patrick Franke
– sole falcon with uniform yellow-orange body and underwing coverts – ID rather straightforeward
– barring of remiges black (dark brown in 1CY)


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1564, 28/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– very dark uni-coloured slate except for dark red vent – shouldn’t cause any ID problems (but beware of Sooty Falcon which is much longer-winged)


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1565, 28/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– silhouette similar to Eurasian Hobby


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1566, 28/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1567, 28/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze
– if only seen from above virtually inseparable from AD M Amur Falcon
– remiges, primary and greater coverts silvery grey contrasting to slate back


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1568, 04/06/2010, Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– in certain circumstances the silhouette can be even similar to Common Kestrel


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, F AD
BIF1571, 29/05/2010, Shirvan National Park, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, M AD
BIF1572, 22/06/2010, Hortobágy, Hungary, Mathias Putze


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, 1CY
BIF1573, 11/10/2011, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– distinct dark trailing edge to the wing
– streaking of the body much weaker than in 1CY Eurasian Hobby


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, F AD
BIF1574, 09/05/2011, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, F AD
BIF1575, 09/05/2011, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß
– orange crown and nape and rather uniform grey upperside enable ID even at great distance


Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus, 1CY
BIF1576, 15/09/2011, Greifswald, Germany, Michael Heiß
– at great distance rather pale appearance

voice: usually nonvocal during migration

comparison species:
Common Kestrel (v)
Amur Falcon (v)
Eurasian Hobby (v)
Common Kestrel (v)
Lesser Kestrel (v)

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