Barbary Falcon

Barbary Falcon, Falco pelegrinoides


English: Barbary Falcon
Scientific: Falco pelegrinoides
German: Wüstenfalke
Spanish: Halcón tagarote
French: Faucon de Barbarie


By many now considered to be a full species, but by others still treated as a subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon.
Here the has it’s own species account, but a final answer on whether it is a full species or subspecies of the Peregrine Falcon cannot be given here. In [GRIN 2010] it is treeted as a subspecis of the Peregrine Falcon. In [Mebs & Schmidt 2006] it is treated as a separate species. [Birdlife 2010] also treats the Barbary Falcon as a separate species.


Length: 34-40 cm
Wingspan: 80-100 cm
Weight: Male 350-480 g, Females 550-720 g

Maximum Age

About 20 years. [Mebs & Schmidt 2006]


Mostly found in arid zones, but also at the cost for example on the Canary Islands [Mebs & Schmidt 2006].


In Europe the Barbary Falcon only breeds on the Canary Island. In Turkey it is only found in the Asian Part. Outside of Europe it is patchily distributed in Northern Africa and in many countries in Asia like Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, China, the Arabian Peninsula, Turkmenistan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and others [Mebs & Schmidt 2006, Birdlife 2010].


Some birds are sedentary, others migrate. Not much is known about the migration due to lack of detailed studies and similarity with the Peregrine Falcon.

Breeding and Reproduction

Breeds in cliffs, sometimes in nests of other raptors. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated about 32 days. The young need 32 – 39 days to fledge. As with most raptors, the adults continue providing food to the young for a few weeks [Mebs & Schmidt 2006].

Food and hunting

The Barbary Falcon is mostly a bird hunter. In Arabia and North Africa it hunts mostly pigeons and sandgrouse. The Barbary Falcon is capable of catching very fast birds like the Alpine Swift [Mebs & Schmidt 2006].


[Birdlife 2010] estimates the world population at about 5000 mature individuals. In the Canary Islands there were about 75 pairs in 2002. It has increased significantly there from 1990 until 2000 [Mebs & Schmidt 2006].


On Lanzarote disturbance near the nest caused by sport activities are a serious problem [Mebs & Schmidt 2006].


Breeding places must be protected from disturbance. More research on the species is needed to learn more about it’s population and possible threats affecting the species.

Status IUCN/BirdLife

Least Concern (LC)


[Birdlife 2010] BirdLife International (2010) Species factsheet: Falco pelegrinoides. Downloaded from on 19/12/2010. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2010) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 19/12/2010.[GRIN 2010] Global Raptor Information Network. 2010. Species account: Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. Downloaded from on 19 Dec. 2010

[Mebs & Schmidt 2006] Mebs, Theodor & Schmidt, Daniel (2006). Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens. Kosmos Verlag.


Forsman, Dick (1999). The Raptors of Europe and the Middle East A Handbook of Field Identification. Poyser
Mebs, Theodor & Schmidt, Daniel (2006). Die Greifvögel Europas, Nordafrikas und Vorderasiens. Kosmos Verlag.


BirdLife Species Factsheet for the Barbary Falcon