SPECIES: Falco hypoleucos — Grey Falcon
Thought to be the rarest Falcon found - or not-found-so-much in Australia, the Grey Falcon is just that. Its colourings are quite pale, with grey underparts, white upper and little bits of yellow on the face. The female is the larger of the species and these Falcons prefer arid-semi arid areas, found in grassland, shrubland and woodland so much so, that the only times a Grey Falcon has been sighted in Queensland is when in drought. They usually eat other birds, small mammals, reptiles and invertebrates - but some of the more challenging meals they've been sighted tucking into include a snake, a duck and even going after a bat.
There's probably around 5,000 Grey Falcons left, making this a vulnerable species. Continued high levels of grazing and clearing of arid-semi arid lands has an impact on the habitat preferred by these Falcons and they are also under threat from poisoning associated with mouse/insect control programs.
Photo: Christopher Watson