Monday, October 24, 2011

Red-footed Falcon

Okan Kocagyit
Some people will know exactly why a slate grey falcon with red boots/feet is important to Sybil. Today though, I thought I'd simply highlight the species and give it some extra press time.

The Redfooted falcon (falco vespertinus) hunts at dusk on the plains of eastern Europe and western Asia in summer. I think the slanting, evening sun highlights insect prey perfectly, but perhaps if I were a djinn pretending to be a falcon, I might hover around at NOT twilight.(*ahem*)

The falcons roost in whatever sparce tree cover they find. Since a colony can range from half a dozen to a thousand, these birds need a lot of space.

Of course, man likes to build and farm grassy plains, so the species is now categorized as "near threatened" due to loss of habitat. It would be pretty difficult to house a thousand birds, once the people move in and take out all the trees, kill all the bugs, and pretty much destroy the neighborhood. Occasionally the birds are seen as far west as the UK, and recently some were even sighted on this side of the Atlantic in Martha's Vineyard. Are they looking for new habitat?

In Turkey, the Redfooted Falcon is known as Aladoğan. Each year it migrates through Cyprus on the path to it's winter home in Africa.

(Cyprus is another reason this falcon is important to Sybil. Sorry, Peregrine falcon, but I think your red-footed cousin is a better fit for my story.)

image via


Old Kitty said...

Poor falcon! I hope it's numbers recovers, I hope it's saved for future generations and I hope it continues to brighten the skies with it's gorgeous gorgeous plummage!

It's a beauty! Take care

Matthew MacNish said...

They don't look too hardcore. For birds of prey.

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, falcons. They're very important - I've got a peregrine falcon that means a lot to my Rosa :-)

Southpaw said...

That's a gorgeous bird. I, too, hope its numbers recover.

LTM said...

I know why he's important!!! :D But omg, Carolyn! What a gorgeous bird. And those eyes... wow. It's kinda creepy at the same time. I'm sad to hear they're endangered.

supercool post~ :D <3

Golden Eagle said...

I love raptors! I'm definitely bookmarking this post. :)

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