Wild Birds

Laggar Falcons

Laggar Falcons (Falco jugger)

The Laggar Falcons (Falco jugger) is a mid-sized bird of prey that occurs in the Indian subcontinent from extreme south-east Iran, south-east Afghanistan, Pakistan, through India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and north-west Myanmar.


Laggar Falcons on the Ground
Laggar Falcons on the Ground

Description

It resembles the Lanner Falcon but is darker overall, and has blackish “trousers” (tibiotarsus feathers – the tibiotarsus is the large bone between the femur and the tarsometatarsus in the leg of a bird.).

Fledglings have an almost entirely dark underside, and first-year subadult birds still retain much dark on the belly.

Taxonomy

This species belongs to a close-knit complex of falcons known as hierofalcons. In this group, there is ample evidence for rampant hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting which confounds analyses of DNA sequence data to a massive extent; molecular studies with small sample sizes can simply not be expected to yield reliable conclusions in the entire hierofalcon group.

The radiation of the entire living diversity of hierofalcons seems to have taken place in the Eemian interglacial at the start of the Late Pleistocene, a mere 130,000-115,000 years ago; the Laggar Falcon represents a lineage that arrived at its present range out of eastern Africa by way of the Arabian Peninsula which during that time had a more humid climate than today.

A Close Up Of Laggar Falcon
A Close Up Of Laggar Falcon

Status

Laggar Falcons used to be the most common falcons in the region, but numbers have declined markedly in recent times and today it is probably nowhere near a common species anymore. The main threats are the intensification of pesticide use in the region and use as a decoy to trap large falcons.

Copyright: Wikipedia. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from Wikipedia.orgAdditional information and photos added by Avianweb.


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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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