Falco feldeggi, Schlegel, Abh. Geb. Zool. p. 3, Taf. 10, 11 (1841) ; Sharpe, Cat. B. Br. Mus. i. p. 389 ; Dresser, vi. p. 51, pl. 375 ; F lanarius, Schlegel, Rev. Crit. p. 2 (1894 nec. Pall.) ; Gould, B. of As. i. pl. 6 ; F. erlangeri, Kleinschmidt, Aquila, 1901, p. 33.
Feldeggsfalke, Germ. ; Lanario, Ital. ; Sager-schahin Tair el Hor, Arab.
Male ad. (Egypt). Forehead dull white ; crown and nape pale creamy rufous, finely striated with blackish, the lower nape blotched with brown ; forepart of back and wing-coverts dull slaty brown, barred und tipped with buffy ash-grey, becoming slaty ash, barred with ash-blue on the lower back and upper tail-coverts ; quills ashy black, barred with white on the inner web ; tail ashy brown, closely banded with ashy grey, and tipped with buffy white ; space round the eye and an irregular stripe to the nape deep brown ; moustache small and narrow ; chin and upper throat white ; rest of under parts buffy white, with drop-shaped blackish brown spots and stripes ; bill pale horn at base, dark horn at tip ; cere and legs yellow ; iris brown. Culmen 1.2, wing 13.15, tail 7.3, tarsus 2.0 inch. Female similar but larger. The young bird has the crown paler, striped with blackish brown, the upper parts dull brown, with paler margins, the tail greyish brown, the cuter feathers irregularly barred, and tipped with white, the under parts white, the breast and abdomen broadly striped with dark brown ; legs dull plumbeous, tinged with yellow.
Hab. Southern Europe, rarely straying further north ; North Africa ; Asia Minor (rare) ; Palestine.
Does not differ appreciably from its allies in general habits ; it frequents plains, rocky localities, as also groves, lagoons, and marshes when water-fowl are found in any numbers. With the Arabs it is held in high esteem for falconry purposes, though European falconers consider it as inferior to the Peregrine. As a rule it nests in the rocks, and has, in Egypt, been found breeding on the pyramids, and in Spain in trees, having taken possession of a deserted nest of some other large bird. When placed on a rock its nest is scanty, being merely a little material collected together. Its 4 eggs, which are usually deposited in April, closely resemble those of the Saker, but are as a rule darker ; in size they average 2.13 by 1.59. Examples from N.W. Africa (F. erlangeri) are as a rule paler, and less marked with blackish, especially on the crown.
767. Falco feldeggi