Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Birds

Elenora’s Falcon (Falco eleonorae)

Description

Eleonora’s Falcon is a medium to large sized falcon, between 36 and 42 cm long, with an approximate wingspan of 84 to 105 cm. This bird comes in two forms: a dark form, which is less common, and is dark brown to black all over, asides from the yellow bill and talons. The paler form retains the brown to black on the head and wings, but has a white chin and cheek, as well as a yellow and orange belly and underparts, flecked with brown spots.

Habitat

This falcon enjoys rocky islands and steep mountainous areas, preferring sea cliffs. This bird can especially be found on the islands of Lipsi and Patmos.

Diet

Eleonora’s Falcon feeds primarily on large, airborne insects such as locusts, beetles, butterflies and winged ants or termites. It will also feed on small migrating birds during the breeding season however.

Protection Status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting Facts

The Elenora’s Falcon was named after Eleanor of Arborea, Queen and national heroine of Sardinia, who granted for the 1st time in history protection against illegal hunters in 1392.

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