Monday, 3 March 2014

174. Eleonora's Falcon (Falco eleonorae)

Eleonora's Falcons breed mostly on Mediterranean islands and coastlines - they like rocky cliffs and undisturbed areas. They winter in Madagascar and parts of east Africa. Adult males and females look similar; there are 2 colour morphs, a dark and a light. The dark morph is uniformly dark brown although on the underwings the bases of the flight feathers are pale, which contrast with the dark underwing coverts. This is the same in the light morph, which is shown in the photo - this plumage is similar to a juvenile Hobby, but the breast and belly is deeper buff and the cheeks contrasting white. Juveniles look very similar to juvenile Hobbies, however again they have the contrasting pale flight feather bases and dark underwing coverts which Hobbies don't. Although Eleonora's Falcons are larger and longer-tailed than Hobbies, they can look very similar from a distance and a good look at closer range is often required to pick out the differences.

Eleonora's Falcon, ©fveronesi1, via Flickr Creative Commons.
Eleonora's Falcon painting.
Hmm kind of funny-looking this one, the wings are particularly oddly shaped and the underparts too pale.

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