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Tips For Photographing The Red Footed Falcon

Find out more about red-footed falcons with the help of Eschenbach.

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Red footed falcon

Red-footed falcons are fascinating small raptors that are found mainly in the steppes of Eastern Europe.


This species is only 30 cm long and weighs about 200g which is really lightweight! The female is the one which has the more striking appearance. The top of their plumage is grey-brown with a distinct, dark bands pattern. The tail is lighter coloured than the upper plumage. Females’ neck, head and abdomen are brown-red-orange, this colour really stands out in intense sunlight. The face has a black eye mask, white throat and white cheeks. The orange legs are clearly visible and form a further contrast. The plumage of the male is mainly grey, with a slightly darker shade on the back. The strong orange beak is the more striking part. This colour can also be found on the lower abdomen, the lower legs and the feet. The legs’ feathers are often called "pants", as they look like some.



Red-footed falcons are located primarily in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. They can be found in Hungary and Serbia. There are a few in Italy, Bulgaria, and Austria and very rarely in the Czech Republic and Germany. The Red-footed falcon spends the cold months in east and North Africa. They drag in open landscapes that are only occasionally interspersed by bush or tree groups. However, he can settle in forest-rich areas on condition that there are large clearings there. Important criteria for him to choose a breeding area are the food supply and the nesting sites. In fact, red-footed falcons are not talented builders and they usually improve the old nests of rooks and magpies before using them.


Photographing tips

Red-footed falcons are very sociable. You will rarely encounter a lonely specimen. They are likely to be found in groups of several couples as they prefer to hunt and breed in groups. These groups proportions are even greater in Africa. As red-footed falcons hunt at night, they often wait together sitting on their steppe woods during the day until they take to the air to capture flying insects. This includes grasshoppers, crickets, dragonflies, beetles and butterflies, sometimes rodents or small birds. Most hunting takes place in flight, but you can observe groups of red-footed falcon on the ground looking for food and hopping around.

You can listen to the Red-footed falcon here.


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