Red-necked Falcon Falco chicquera
- Falco : Latin for Falcon based on Sickle shaped claws ( falcis- sickle)
- Chicquera : based on the name of specimen told to François Levaillant when he bought it in Calcutta in India
Vernacular Names: Sind: Chatwa (M), Hindi: Turumti, Turumtari (F), Pun: Laal siri turmati, Guj: Turumthi, (F) Turumti, (M) Chatva, Mar: Turumti sassana, Lal Dokyacha Sasana, Te: Jellaganta, Jelgadda, Jale gadda, Yerkali: Jelkat
Distribution in India: Widespread Resident.
Description: Size of 31-36 cm. It is a medium-sized, long-winged species with a bright rufous crown and nape. It is on average 30–36 cm in length with a wingspan of 85 cm. The wings and upper parts are bluish grey and the tail has narrow bars, a broad subterminal black band tipped with white. The wingtip does not reach the tip of the tail at rest. The second and third primaries are the longest and almost equal in length while the first is a fourth the length. The first two primaries are notched. The legs, ceres and eye ring are yellow. The tip of the bill is black while the basal portion is greenish yellow. The sexes are similar except in size, males are smaller than females as is usual in falcons. Found in patches of trees adjoining open country, from along watercourses in desert to terai to woodland.
Food Habits: It eats small birds like larks, pipits, sparrows, kingfishers and up to the size of crakes, quails, waders, cuckoos and doves. Also less commonly rodents, reptiles, and insects. They are dashing hunters, with deep, rapid wingbeats. They usually hunts in pairs, often at dawn and dusk, sometimes utilizing a technique in which one of the pair flies low and flushes up small birds while the other follows higher up and seizes the prey as it flushes from cover. Prey is taken after aerial, fast dashes behind cover or high circling flights. Often attacks birds at waterholes; rarely pirates food from other raptors, but known to cache food (overnight). During breeding season, hunting apparently becomes increasingly crepuscular after young fledge. The red-necked falcon drinks water where available during the afternoons.
Breeding Habits: They breed in Dec-May in India. Pairs may indulge in courtship feeding in which the female feeds the male, an unusual behaviour. They nest in old stick nest of other species such as kites, Shikra or corvid, with no material added. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs .The incubation commences when clutch complete for a period of 32–35 days. Chicks are born altricial, fed almost exclusively by female, largely provisioned by male, but female also hunts within 250 m of nest .The fledging period is 34–40 days.