Lanner Falcon

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Is the Lanner Falcon right for you?

Species group:

Other common names:

Scientific name: Falco biarmicus

The basics:
The Lanner Falcon is a large, long-winged, long-tailed predator that specializes in catching birds in flight. Although it might remind you of its relative, the Peregrine Falcon, the Lanner prefers to pursue its prey in horizontal flight, rather than flying to a great vertical height and then stooping down onto its victim. This species has been recommended as a good beginner's falcon because of its pleasant temperament.

The Lanner Falcon is widely distributed in arid, open areas of Africa, as well as some areas of Europe and the Middle East. They have been clocked at speeds as high as 144 kilometers per hour and can catch their prey by flying at it head on. While they are a highly successful and often very visible species in parts of Africa, they are struggling in southern Europe thanks to such hazards as the use of dangerous pesticides and also competition for desirable nest sites with human rock climbers.

Because of the licensing and expertise required to be a responsible owner of a bird of prey, the following information is offered only as a hint of what you will need to learn to work with Lanner Falcons. There is no substitute for hands-on training, which we strongly recommend that you pursue before trying to acquire any bird of prey.

Compared to the Peregrine Falcon, the “moustache” on the Lanner is much slimmer, and the nape is noticeably chestnutty or rufous.

Male: 550 grams (19 oz.)
Female: 800 grams (28 oz.)

Average size:
45 - 50 centimeters (18 - 20 IN.)

15 - 20 years

Behavior / temperament:
Lanner Falcons are rather easy-going birds that have been recommended as a potential beginner's falcon. Some people consider it a lazy bird, but other experts report excellent results as long as you're aware of the Lanner's preference for giving horizontal chase. If you plan to train the bird to “wait on” the quarry from a height before stooping, you are apt to be disappointed, because you are trying to train the bird to be a Peregrine.

A good Lanner Falcon pen, aviary, or mews will provide shade from direct sunlight in the summer, protection from extremes of winter weather, and good security to lock out thieves. A roof that completely covers the structure is stronger and offers more protection from high winds than a partial roof. Don't shortchange them on space just because they're smaller than the buteos, since their long wings mean they really need space to stretch out. Like most birds of prey, they will enjoy some clean, shallow water for bathing.

The Lanner Falcon is a carnivore that needs to consume some whole prey in order to allow its digestive system to work properly. They are bird predators, and a diet high in bird items like day old chicks, quail, and pigeon is commonly offered. They should also be provided with water.

Written by Elaine Radford

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