Overview

Distribution

Range

Rocky hills and gorges of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Source: IUCN

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
The population is estimated to number 1,000-10,000 individuals, roughly equating to 670-6,700 mature individuals.

Population Trend
Stable
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Wikipedia

Fox Kestrel

The Fox Kestrel (Falco alopex) is a bird of prey belonging to the falcon family Falconidae. It is found in arid, open country in Africa.

Description[edit]

It is a large, slender kestrel with long, narrow wings and tail. It is 32–38 cm long with a wingspan of 76–88 cm and a weight of 250-300 grams. The female is 3% larger than the male. The plumage is dark rufous above and below with black streaks. The tail is narrowly barred with black while the flight feathers of the wing are dark and unbarred. The underwings are pale, contrasting with the darker body. The eye is yellow-brown unlike the similar Greater Kestrel which has whitish eyes as well as paler plumage, barred flight feathers and grey on the tail.

Juvenile Fox Kestrels have heavier streaking than the adults and clearer barring on the tail.

The species has a high, screeching call but is usually silent outside the breeding season.

Habitat and range[edit]

It breeds in the savanna region south of the Sahara from Mali eastwards as far as Ethiopia and north-west Kenya. It occasionally wanders west to Senegal, the Gambia and Guinea and south to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Most birds are sedentary but there is some movement northward during the wet season and southward in the dry season. It is often found around cliffs and rocky hills. It occurs from near sea-level to 2200 metres, especially below 1000 metres. It has a large range of about 4 million km² but is usually uncommon. Its total population is probably less than 100,000 pairs.

Behaviour[edit]

It rarely hovers, preferring to hunt from a perch in a tree or on a rock. It feeds on insects, lizards and small mammals. It generally catches food on the ground but also hunts for flying insects escaping from grass fires.

Little is known about its breeding habits. The nest site is a hole or crevice in a cliff or on a ledge. No nesting material is used. The clutch is thought to consist of two or three eggs. The birds sometimes breed in loose colonies of up to 20 pairs.

References[edit]

  • Ferguson-Lees, James & Christie, David A. (2001) Raptors of the World, Christopher Helm, London.
  • Global Raptor Information Network (2007) Species account: Fox Kestrel Falco alopex. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 2 Aug. 2007.
  • Sinclair, Ian & Ryan, Peter (2003) Birds of Africa south of the Sahara, Struik, Cape Town.
  • Zimmerman, Dale A.; Turner, Donald A. & Pearson, David J. (1999) Birds of Kenya & Northern Tanzania, Christopher Helm, London.
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