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Taita Falcon | Falco fasciinucha

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

The description for the Taita Falcon (Latin name Falco fasciinucha) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Falco fasciinucha can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 176 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 559. You will find a picture of the Taita 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 Taita Falcon between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Taita Falcon is known in Afrikaans as Taitavalk.

The Taita Falcon has a height of 28 cms and weighs around 220 gms. The head is coloured cinnamon while the bill is coloured grey. The Falco fasciinucha has a white coloured throat, grey 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 cinnamon

Eyes are brown

Bill is grey

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is chestnut

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Falco fasciinucha 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

The Falco fasciinucha 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 Taita Falcon eats the eggs of its victim.

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 Taita 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 3 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

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

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

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Taita 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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