Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Brown and not-so-brown Falcons

The Brown Falcon is one of our most numerous and widespread raptors. They are highly variable in colour which can sometimes cause field identification challenges. I am always on the lookout for the much rarer Black Falcon and have got excited on a number of occasions when a dark brown Brown Falcon has turned up.

Driving out of Gunlom in Kakadu National Park we came upon a pair of raptors perched beside the very corrugated road in a dead tree. A quick stop and check with the bins revealed two Brown Falcons and given one bird was at the dark end of the colour range and one at the light end, it was a good opportunity to capture some photos showing them side by side.

These two birds are most likely a breeding pair.

Click on images to enlarge.

A pair of Brown Falcons together in dead tree, one dark and one light.

The dark brown morph Brown Falcon.

The light morph Brown Falcon.

So next time you think you have seen a Black Falcon make sure it is not an imposter. Of course it is not that hard to separate Brown and Black Falcons as Browns are to my mind the least falcon-like falcon whereas blacks are very much a falcon in both looks and behaviour.

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