Grey Falcon (Falco hypoleucos)
The Grey Falcon is one of Australia's most beautiful and elusive raptors. It is a denizen of the dry, arid interior and is seldom observed in the wild. Like many raptors, the Grey Falcon is a solitary bird and when observed is usually seen only in very small numbers, either as individuals, breeding pairs, or even more rarely, family groups. As a member of the Falcon family it is primarily a bird-hunter, preferring to prey upon native pigeons and small parrots. It will also eat other birds, large insects and small terrestrial animals.|
In 1994 and 1996, the IUCN Red List classed the Grey Falcon as Vulnerable but in 2004 it was reclassified as Near Threatened as the population had stopped declining and stabilised. It is believed that numbers remain low. In The Birds of Prey of Australia (Oxford, 1998) Stephen Debus estimated the population at approximately one thousand breeding pairs. In addition, Dr Debus rcommended that "a population survey and research into the Falcon's biology and ecology" be undertaken. In recent years, Jonny Schoenjahn of the Australasian Raptor Association has undertaken research into Australia's Grey Falcon population and the progress of his study may be found here.
A male Grey Falcon, legally retained under license at a Western Australian wildlife park and destined to be part of a captive breeding programme.
The bird is permanently disabled due to an injury to its left wing.
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