Sooty Falcons

Sooty Falcons (Falco concolor)

The Sooty Falcons (Falco concolor) is a medium-sized falcon.

Sooty Falcons on the Rocks
Sooty Falcons on the Rocks

Distribution / Range

This species breeds on islands and coastal or desert cliffs in northeast Africa from Libya to Israel and the Red Sea. It is a long-distance migrant, wintering in east Africa and south to Madagascar. It is rare north of its breeding range.


The Sooty Falcons is an elegant bird of prey, 32-37 cm long with a 78-90 cm wingspan. It is like a large Hobby or a small Eleonora’s Falcon, with its long pointed wings, long tail, and slim body. The adults are blue-grey and lack the black underwing coverts of the Eleanora’s Falcon.

The young bird is like a large juvenile Hobby or a small juvenile Eleanora’s Falcon. Its dark trailing edge to the wings and tail distinguishes it from the former species, and it lacks the underwing contrast caused by the dark coverts of the larger falcon.

A Flying Sooty Falcon
A Flying Sooty Falcon

Breeding / Nesting

It nests on a ledge or rocks, laying up to four eggs.

Diet / Feeding

The Sooty Falcon eats mainly birds, but it will take large insects, such as dragonflies, which are transferred from talons to beaks and eaten in flight.

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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