Bird of a Brown Land

Brown Falcon

Falco berigora

West of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia


Here are three different Brown Falcons that I saw with Rod Hobson in 2014 and in August 2015.

Brown Falcons are the most common large falcons found in Australia. I'm not a fan of their bland name though, as I think they are more beautiful than just "Brown Falcon" implies. Over the years I have seen incredible variations of this species especially in central Queensland. I have seen very pale, sandy coloured birds, one or two like large kestrels. I have also seen all black birds like Black Falcons and red-barred birds that had me running down the street screaming "Red Goshawk". When I was photographing one flying around with a large snake (Altona, Victoria 1990s) I was attacked by its mate. They appear to fly with less zest than other falcons but I believe they are pretty aggressive hunters too. I have watched them in serious dogfights with other falcons and raptors such as harriers.

I think they are true spirits of the Australian landscape and are dramatic and variable. I think they would be better named, "Australian Falcon". What do you think? 

(this is the above bird in flight and below)

Another Brown Falcon west of Toowoomba, 2014. As well as the three shots below.

We encountered this Brown Falcon north-east of Toowoomba this August (2015).
Maybe Flagstone Creek Road.