The Barbary Falcon is a medium-sized to largish falcon and rather similar to the Peregrine Falcon with which it can easily be confused. It is a rare species within the Falco genus and scarcely distributed on Atlantic islands, northwest and northeast Africa, parts of the Arabian peninsula and parts of Asia.
Species: Barbary Falcon
Scientific Name: Falco (peregrinus) pelegrinoides
Name in German: Wüstenfalke
Name in Czech: Sokol šahin
Name in Slovak: Sokol hrdzavohlavý
Name in Hungarian: Sivatagi sólyom
Name in French: Faucon de Barbarie
Name in Spanish: Halcón Tagarote
Name in Portuguese: Halcón Tagarote
Name in Dutch: Barbarijse Slechtvalk
Name in Italian: Falco de Barberia
Name in Finnish: Arabihaukka
Name in Danish: Berberfalk
Name in Swedish: Berberfalk
Name in Polish: Sokól berberyjski
Name in Russian: Shakhin oder Rishegolowij sapsan
Name in Arabic: الشاهين المغربي, الصقر المغربي
Name in Hebrew: בז אדום־ראש, בז מדברי
Distribution:Southwest to central Palearctic, northeast Afrotropical, marginally northwest Indomalayan: northern Africa, Middle East, Arabian peninsula, central Asiatic Altai, Atlantic islands, Canary Islands; Sinai, Israel, Jordan; east Iran up to arid mountains of northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, northwest India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tadzhikistan, Kirghizistan, northwest China, Russian Altai and west Mongolia.
Movements: Je nach Brutareal sind Wüstenfalken entweder Standvögel oder Zugvögel. Von den zentralasiatischen Wüstenfalken sind Zugbewegungen bis nach Nord-Indien bekannt..
Habitat: Inland deserts, barren arid areas, wide deep wadis, gorges or rocky foothills. Also coastal and riverside cliffs (Morocco, Egypt). At sealevels of 2,000 m, in central Asial also up to 2,600 m.
Behaviour: The daily activity of the Barbary Falcon begins in the morning between 8 and 9h, during the time of the greatest heat the falcons take a „lunch break“. The second acitivity phase is during late afternoon. During hunting, it appears that the Barbary Falcon is even faster than the Peregrine Falcon. In dive maximum speeds of up to 44 m/sec are possible.
Size: 35-40 cm
Tail: 9-11 cm
♂: Ø 430 g (350-480 g)
♀: Ø 640 g (550-720 g)
Wingspan: 80-100 cm
Voice: Voice is similar to Pergrine Falcon with high-pitched cries.
Maturity: Most probably during the 2nd year.
Mating Season: December
Clutches per breeding season1 clutch
Breeding: from mid February to July; in central Asia from late February/March to ende of July
Nest: Does not build own nest. Nest platform made of sticks and branches, mostly using old nests from crows or gulls. Nest sits on ledges, cliffs, on trees, electricity pylons. Mostly uses several nests in the breeding area.
Clutch: 2-4 eggs, mostly 3 eggs
Eggs: shell colour green-white.
Length x Width: 51.0x39.0mm
Weight: ≈ 40 g
Recurrent Clutch: unknown.
Incubation: c. 32 days, incubated by ♀, which is fed by ♂
Fledging: 32-39 days.
Dependency: After fledging the juveniles are cared for by parents for up to 5 months.
Food: Preys on small to medium-sized birds of arid country; prey ranging from wheaters and larks to doves, rock pigeons, sand grouse and bats. Hunting techniques similar to Peregrine Falcon.
Longevity: There are no recorded data available. Assumably, the maximum age is about c. 20 years.
Threats: Most threats are down to human activit of all kind.
Bauer, Hans-Günther, Bezzel, Einhard et. al. (HG), Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 1+2, Sonderausgabe 2012, Aula Verlag, Wiebelsheim
Bauer, Hans-Günther, Bezzel, Einhard et. al. (HG), Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Band 3, Literatur und Anhang, Aula Verlag Wiebelsheim, 2. vollständig überarbeitete Auflage 1993
Bezzel, Einhard, Kompendium der Vögel Mitteleuropas, Non-Passeriformes, Band 1, AULA-Verlag Wiesbaden, 1985
Ferguson-Lees, James & Christie, David, Raptors of the World, A Field Guide, Christopher Helm London, reprinted 2019
Ferguson-Lees, James & Christie, David, Raptors of the World, Houghton Mifflin Company Boston New York, 2001
Mebs, Theodor et. al, Die Greifvögel Europas, Franck-Kosmos Verlags GmbH, 2. Auflage 2014
Svenson, Lars et. al, Der Kosmos Vogelführer, Franck-Kosmos Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Stuttgart, 2. Auflage 2011