Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Fox Kestrel
Falco alopex

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: 

Falco alopex
click to enlarge
Distribution: Afrotropical.Southern MALI and IVORY COAST east to ERITREA and northeastern UGANDA south to southern NIGER, CHAD, and northern KENYA west of the Rift Valley. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Possibly forms a superspecies with F. rupicoloides, with which it is largely allopatric, but Kemp (1994) mentioned that there are ecological and morphological differences between them. In a morphometric classification of the genus, this species grouped close to Eleonora's Falcon (Kemp and Crowe 1993).

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). Intra-African migrant, moving between wet and dry bands in the Sahel and northeastern Africa. In West Africa, it occurs in the northern zones during the rainy season and moves south to breed during the dry season from October to May-June (Cade 1982, Borrow and Demey 2001).

Habitat and Habits: Prefers semi-desert and savanna areas in the Sahel and northeastern Africa, but moves south into moister Guinea savannas and is a vagrant to eastern Africa grasslands (Kemp and Kemp 1998). In Uganda, it is confined to dry thickets and Acacia savanna, particularly where there are rocky outcrops and inselbergs (Carswell et al. 2005). In Sudan, it occurs in mountainous areas with cliffs and isolated rocky outcrops (Nikolaus 1987), and in Togo and Ghana, it also is found in areas of escarpments and rocky hills (Grimes 1987, Cheke and Walsh 1996). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds mainly on small ground vertebrates (lizards, small mammals, and birds) and insects, which it captures by descending to the ground from a perch. Also catches insects on the wing, especially around grassland fires (Bannerman 1951, Sutton 1970, Kemp and Kemp 1998). This species seldom hovers (Londei 2002). more....

Breeding: Nests on rock ledges and in potholes, sometimes in a loose colonies (Brown et al. 1982). It is not known to use the old nests of other species (Cade 1982).more....

Conservation: Generally uncommon and poorly known throughout most of its large range. Categorized globally as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International. more....

Important References: 
Brouwer, J., and W.C. Mulliť.. 2000. Description of eggs and young of the
  Fox Kestrel Falco alopex in Niger. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists'
  Club 120:196-198.
Brown, L.H., E.K. Urban, and K. Newman. 1982. The birds of Africa. Vol. 1.
  Academic Press, London.
Cade, T.J. 1982. Falcons of the world. Cornell University Press, Ithaca,
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kemp, A.C. 1994. Fox Kestrel. P. 262 in del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott, and J.
  Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New World vultures
  to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Londei, T. 2002. The Fox Kestrel (Falco alopex) hovers. Journal of Raptor
  Research 36:236-237.
Van Zyl, A., C. Boix-Hinzen, I. Fulton, T. Fitzpatrick, J. Geeson, and J.
2006. Foraging of the Fox Kestrel Falco alopex in Cameroon.
  Gabar 17:10-13.

Rondeau, Guy
van Zyl, Anthony

Last modified: 2/17/2011

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2021. Species account: Fox Kestrel Falco alopex. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 9 Dec. 2021

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.