Amur Falcon

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Amur Falcon

The Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis), formerly Eastern Red-footed Falcon, is a small raptor that was long considered a subspecies or morph (genetic mutation) of the Red-footed Falcon. However, nowadays most authorities consider it a distinct and separate species. Still, it is closely related to the Red-footed Falcon.


Distribution / Range

The Amur Falcon breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China. They winter in Southern Africa.


Identification

Males have a mostly dark sooty brown plumage.

Similar Species:

Males may be confused with the melanistic Gabar Goshawk, but can be identified by its chestnut-colored vent.

Males also resemble the Sooty Falcon and Grey Kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere (soft skin surrounding the nostrils).

They also look similar to the male Amur and Red-footed Falcon - but the Amur Falcon has white underwing feathers; while the Red-footed Falcon has uniformly grey underwing feathers.

Females have grey markings on the top of the head - which differentiates them from female Red-footed Falcons. The female has barring on the lower belly. Red cere (soft skin surrounding the nostrils) and feet rule out all other falcons.

Juveniles have a darker crown and they lack the buff all the way up the abdomen - differentiating them from the Western Red-footed Falcon. The Amur Falcon and Red-footed Falcons have red feet.

Both females and juveniles lack the buff underwing coverts of Red-footed Falcon.


Diet

The Amur Falcon mainly feeds on insects, including termites.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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