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Red-necked Falcon | Falco chicquera

The Red-necked Falcon is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Falconidae bird family group which includes birds such as Falcons.

The description for the Red-necked Falcon (Latin name Falco chicquera) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Falco chicquera can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 178 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 550. You will find a picture of the Red-necked Falcon on page 529.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Red-necked Falcon between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Red-necked Falcon has a height of 36 cms and weighs around 170 gms. The head is coloured chestnut while the bill is coloured grey. The Falco chicquera has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a chestnut coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is chestnut

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey

Legs are yellow

Throat is white

Back is chestnut

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Falco chicquera attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird hunts for small reptiles such as lizards, geckos and bush snakes. The Red-necked Falcon strikes poisonous snakes on the head with one fatal blow which kills the snake instantly. There have been cases were this bird has been killed by a snake while hunting. Some birds have been blinded by Cobra venom.

The Falco chicquera attacks smaller birds in flight and uses its sharp claws to break the bird's neck. Some of the birds are attacked in their nests while others are killed on the ground. The Red-necked Falcon eats the eggs of its victim.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Red-necked Falcon uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Red-necked Falcon is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured pink.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Red-necked Falcon is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Red-necked Falcon is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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