- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.7. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
Habitat and Ecology
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Falco amurensis
There are 2 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank. Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species. See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.
-- end --
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Falco amurensis
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 2008Least Concern
- 2004Least Concern
The Amur Falcon (Falco amurensis) is a small raptor of the falcon family. It breeds in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, migrates through India and over the Arabian Sea to winter in Southern Africa. It was earlier treated as a subspecies of the Red-footed Falcon (Falco vespertinus) and called the Eastern Red-footed Falcon. Males are dark grey with reddish brown thighs and undertail coverts; red eye-ring, cere and feet. Females are duller with whiter underparts, an orange eye ring, cere and legs. Their diet consists mainly of insects, such as termites and during migration over the sea, are thought to feed on migrating dragonflies (mainly Pantala flavescens). The route that they take from Africa back to their breeding grounds is as yet unknown.
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 underwing coverts on Amur Falcon, whereas the underwing 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 underwing coverts of Red-footed Falcon.
It was long considered a subspecies or mere morph of the Red-footed Falcon, but it is nowadays considered well distinct. Nonetheless, it is the Red-footed Falcon's closest relative; their relationship to other falcons is more enigmatic. They appear morphologically somewhat intermediate between kestrels and hobbies and DNA sequence data has been unable to further resolve this question, mainly due to lack of comprehensive sampling. They might be closer to the Merlin than to most other living falcons, or more generally related to this species and American falcons such as the American Kestrel and the Aplomado Falcon.
- Corso, Andrea and William S. Clark, illustrated by Ian Lewington (1998) Identification of Amur Falcon Birding World 11(7):261-8
- Corso, Andrea and Pete Dennis (1998) Amur Falcons in Italy – a new Western Palearctic bird Birding World 11(7):259-60
- BirdLife International (2012). "Falco amurensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Anderson, R. Charles (2009). "Do dragonﬂies migrate across the western Indian Ocean?". Journal of Tropical Ecology 25: 347–358. doi:10.1017/S0266467409006087.
- Wink, Michael; Seibold, I.; Lotfikhah, F. & Bednarek, W. (1998): Molecular systematics of holarctic raptors (Order Falconiformes). In: Chancellor, R.D., Meyburg, B.-U. & Ferrero, J.J. (eds.): Holarctic Birds of Prey: 29–48. Adenex & WWGBP.
- Griffiths, Carole S. (1999). "Phylogeny of the Falconidae inferred from molecular and morphological data". Auk 116 (1): 116–130. doi:10.2307/4089459.
- Griffiths, Carole S.; Barrowclough, George F.; Groth, Jeff G. & Mertz, Lisa (2004). "Phylogeny of the Falconidae (Aves): a comparison of the efficacy of morphological, mitochondrial, and nuclear data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32 (1): 101–109. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.11.019. PMID 15186800.