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The Species of November 2016


Name: Eleonora’s falcon
Scientific name: Falco eleonorae
Family: Falconinae     



Eleonora’s Falcon is an elegant medium-sized hawk. It was named after Princess Eleanor of Sardinia, who enacted the first laws to protect them in the 14th century. It is shaped like a small thin Petrite, with long and pointed wings, with a long tail and a slender body. It is found in two colors, dark brown with black marks under the wings or light colored.

In Cyprus it is found on the south coast from Akrotiri, the Cliffs of the Episkopi, Paramali, the bay of Avdimou to the west of Akrotiri Aspro to Petra tou Romiou. The largest colony is located in Akrotiri Aspro, with about half the population nesting on the cliffs of this area where it is estimated that there are about 120 -150 pairs.

It usually nests in colonies on steep coastal cliffs or on small islets between August and October. It breeds in Mediterranean islands, especially in the region of Greece (where two-thirds of the world’s population reproduces), as well as in the Canary Islands, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Morocco, and Algeria.

It feeds mainly on large insects, such as dragonflies, which are trapped in the air. Insects are transferred from their claws to its beak and consumed during the flight. During its breeding season, it feeds on small and medium-sized migratory birds that it hunts in the air near the coastal cliffs when these birds enter the Mediterranean islands.

It is a migratory bird, which travels huge distances as it overwinters in Madagascar. The total distance they travel during their flight is up to 9000 km. Migration begins with the abandonment of its nesting sites from October to November and returns in mid-April.

[1] Πουλιά της Κύπρου, του Λουκά Χριστοφόρου, AFIAP, 1998
[2] Ηλεκτρονική εγκυκλοπαίδεια Wikipedia
[3] http://www.moa.gov.cy/moa/environment/environment.nsf/

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