Scientific Name: Falco amurensis
Name: Amur Falcon
Males are characteristically dark sooty grey above with rufous thighs and vent. In flight, the wing lining is white, contrasting with the dark wing feathers. Adult males of the closely related red-footed falcon have a dark grey wing lining. In Africa, males can be confused with melanistic Gabar goshawks, but the chestnut on the vent is distinctive. Also, there may be some superficial resemblance to the sooty falcon and the grey kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere. The wings are long as in most falcons (with a span of 63–71 cm) and at rest the wing tip reaches or extends just beyond the tail-tip. Females can be more difficult to identify as they share a pattern common to many falcons, but are distinctive in having an orange eye-ring, a red cere and reddish orange feet. Juveniles can be confused only with those of the red-footed falcon, but lack the buffy underwing coverts.
Size in cm:
Size in Inch
gray (Bird may have more colors)
The Amur falcon feeds mainly late in the evening or early in the morning capturing a wide range of insects in the air or on the ground. They capture most of their prey in flight, sometimes by hovering, but will also pick prey by alighting on the ground. The winter diet appears to be almost entirely made up of insects but they take small birds, mammals and amphibians to feed their young in their breeding range. The rains in Africa produce swarms of termites, locusts, ants and beetles that provide ample food. Their migration over the Arabian Sea coincides with the timing of the migration of dragonflies (Pantala flavescens) and these are thought to provide food during the most arduous part of their migration route
Habit and habited:
Highly gregarious and crepuscular falcon. Forms communal roosts, often with lesser Kestrels. Hunts by hawking incects and by hovering like common Kestrel. Open country.
Utters a shrill, screaming Kew-kew-kew when settling in to roost, continuing more or less throughout the night.
Birds of Prey
The Amur Falcon is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, wintering in Southern Africa. Its diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites.
Males are characteristically dark sooty brown, and may offer confusion with melanistic Gabar Goshawk, but the chestnut on the vent should prevent confusion here. Also there may be some superficial resemblance to Sooty Falcon and Grey Kestrel, but those two species both have yellow feet and cere. Separating male Amur and Red-footed Falcons is best done by the white under-wing coverts on Amur Falcon, whereas the under-wing of male Red-footed Falcons is uniformly grey.
Females may offer a bit more confusion with a wider range of falcons as they have a typical falcon head pattern. The grey on the top of the head should quickly rule out confusion with Red-footed Falcons. The female has barring on the lower belly. Red cere and feet rule out all other falcons.
For juveniles, red feet should restrict ID to the Amur and Red-footed group, and the darker crown and lack of buff all the way up the belly rules out Western Red-footed Falcon. Females and juveniles lack the buff under-wing coverts of Red-footed Falcon.