Fun Black Falcon Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Read these black falcon facts about the species where the females are larger than the males.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.4 Min

What comes to your mind when we ask you about the fastest animal? A cheetah, probably but you would be surprised to learn that it is not a cheetah but a bird belonging to the falcon species.

The diving speed of a bird in the falcon species is about 242 mph (390 kph) which is almost three times more than the speed of a cheetah.

Let's study one such interesting species of falcon named the black falcon. It is widely distributed across Australia and is often seen in grasslands, saltbush plains, and other low vegetation areas. In urban areas, you can often see them sitting on power poles.

They are usually seen hunting close to wetlands or other water bodies, especially during the breeding season. They exhibit sexual dimorphism where females are larger than males. They have a powerful vision and are capable of locating their prey from 1 mi (1.6 km) away.

If you are captivated by our black falcon facts, please go ahead and check our articles on the pygmy falcon and the lanner falcon.

Black Falcon Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black falcon?

This black falcon, predominantly found in Australia, belongs to the bird species.

What class of animal does a black falcon belong to?

This falcon with feathered legs belongs to the class of Aves.

How many black falcons are there in the world?

The exact population of black falcons worldwide is unknown. According to BirdLife International, the population of these Australian falcons was estimated to be between 670 to 6700 individuals in 2009.

Where does a black falcon live?

These black falcons are considered endemic to Australia but are rarely found in western Australia or the coastal regions of southeast Australia. Occasionally some species have also been spotted in New Zealand.

What is a black falcon's habitat?

Black falcons (Falco subniger) can be seen from a sea level of up to 3280 ft (1000 m) in Australia. A black falcon's habitat range extends from eucalyptus woodland, farmland, scrubby grassland to savanna.

This bird's habitat is mainly in arid regions and it lives close to water bodies during the breeding season. It nests in the stick nests of raptors or corvids in woodland or isolated trees.

Who do black falcons live with?

This dark brown to sooty black falcon lives a solitary hunting life except when it is mating.

How long does a black falcon live?

The lifespan of the black falcon ( Falco subniger) is about 12 years in its wild habitat, and 20 years in captivity.

How do they reproduce?

During the breeding season, the male falcon tries to attract the female falcon by making a figure eight kind of patterned movements around the nest. Once mating is done, the eggs are laid in a stick nest between May and November. Each clutch size consists of one to five eggs.

The female are mainly involved in incubating the eggs, and this is done for about 34 days. The male black falcon will bring food for the female during this period. Hatched young chicks become independent in about seven weeks.

What is their conservation status?

These birds are put under the Least Concern category as per the IUCN Red List. Though considered rare and uncommon in most places globally, they have a stronghold in Queensland, Australia where they are pretty common.

Black Falcon Fun Facts

What do black falcons look like?

The black falcon species have streamlined bodies with long tails. Their eyes are dark brown, and their talons and beaks are black.

It has a dark brown to sooty black body with a pale throat. The flight feathers are slightly pale on the underside, and when this falcon glides, its pointed wings are slightly drooped. Its feathered legs are short with pale gray feet.

In this falcon species, females are larger than males. It can be distinguished from the similar-looking brown falcon by the dark underwings, short feathered legs, darker cheeks, large feet, and smaller heads.

Portrait of a hunting falcon

How cute are they?

The perception of cuteness or beauty differs from person to person. However, many people find this bird of prey attractive with its majestic looks, slightly drooped pointed wings, and long tail.

How do they communicate?

The most common call made by the black falcon bird is the more profound and slower 'gaak-gaar-gaak'. This call becomes shorter and more rapid 'gak-gak-gak-gak' when intruders or predators are nearby. During courtship, males make sharp and high-pitched 'ee-chip…ee-chip' or 'eeik..eeik..eeik' sounds. The female makes a whine or wail call during copulation or when requesting food.

How big is a black falcon?

The black falcon's length is about 18-22 in (45–56 cm).

How fast can a black falcon fly?

The exact flight speed of the black falcon is not available, but it is believed to be very fast and swift, especially during hunting.

Some of the fastest birds of prey, like saker falcon and peregrine falcon with flight speeds of 200 mph (322 kph) and 240 mph (386 kph) respectively, come from the same family as that of the black falcon.

How much does a black falcon weigh?

A female weighs around 1.8 lb (833 g) and the male around 1.2 lb (582 g). The black falcon is half the weight of the peregrine falcon species, where males weigh about 2.2 lb (1 kg) and females 3.3 lb (1.5kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The male and female species of black falcons have no specific names. However, like other falcons, males are known as tiercels and females are called female falcons.

What would you call a baby black falcon?

The baby of a black falcon is known as a chick, a hatchling or a nestling like any other falcon species.

What do they eat?

This bird of prey feeds on small mammals like rabbits, mice, rats, insects, reptiles, birds like finch, pigeons, dove, and sometimes on carrion. Black falcons not only snatch the stick nests of other raptors but are also capable of stealing their food or prey.

They have strong teeth and talons which helps them to bite and tear their food before eating. In addition, they have a powerful sense of sight and can locate their prey, even when they are in flight several miles above the ground.

Are they dangerous?

Since it is a bird of prey, it is dangerous to the prey animals which are caught and killed by these raptors. But generally, falcons attack humans or other animals only when they feel threatened or if someone comes too close to their stick nests.

Would they make a good pet?

It is a bird of prey, and hence it would be best to leave it to its natural habitat and not try to cage it or raise it as a pet.

Did you know...

There are about 40 species of falcons around the world.

Falcons are capable of seeing eight times more clearly compared to a human eye.

Falcons kill their prey using a unique tooth near their beak.

What is special about falcons?

This bird of prey is one of the fastest species on earth and a very efficient hunter with powerful eyesight. Black falcons have been seen using contour hunting to surprise their prey, tail-chasing their prey bird over long distances, or using a verticle stoop with slightly drooped wings when hunting.

It is sometimes seen to prey on other raptors also.

Can a falcon kill a human?

Falcons are highly territorial in nature. If they see any humans near their nests, they will attack them with their sharp beaks and talons.

Falcons as a group or alone are capable of causing serious injuries to humans or other animals. There are instances where people or their pets have been hospitalized with grave injuries caused by falcons. However, we do not have any recorded evidence of a falcon ever being fatal to humans.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our sea eagle fun facts and white gyrfalcon interesting facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Black falcon coloring pages.

*Please note that this is an image of a saker falcon, not a black falcon. If you have an image of a black falcon, please let us know at hello@kidadl.com.

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Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

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Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

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Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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