<< Previous Next >>

Lanner with prey

Lanner with prey
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Thomas (FunkyMunky) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 146 W: 0 N: 608] (3154)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, Sigma 70-300mm
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Falcons - II chapter, Birds of South Africa 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-04-11 0:34
Viewed: 7566
Points: 10
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On a recent visit to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park we were sitting at a waterhole watching hundreds of Namaqua Sandgouse fling in to drink. Two Lanner falcons were taking turns to scatter the grouse and then divebomb them, hoping to knock one to the ground. After a few unsuccessful passes one Lanner manmaged to knock a grouse senseless and it tumbled to the ground not far from where we were parked. The Lanner completely ignored us and started to enjoy his breakfast.

Lanner falcons

Swift, lovely raptors, Lanner Falcons are amazingly fast and precise in flight. These beautiful birds are most commonly seen in Africa's open fields.

Lanner Falcons are swift and highly maneuverable in flight. This aids them in catching small birds, their primary food. They will supplement their diets with small mammals or lizards. These falcons fly low over the ground and swiftly seize their prey, taking advantage of the element of surprise. They will also take advantage of prey injured by humans or other means. Lanner Falcons may be identified by their strident calls, which have a repeated "kak-kak" sound. During territorial or mating displays, Lanner Falcons will also emit a high pitched trilling noise. Generally, they live alone in grassland or agricultural areas although they are occasionally reported in pairs. They prefer areas near cliffs so they can nest; however, if there are no cliffs available they can use trees and power lines.

Typically, Lanner Falcons grow to between 36 and 48 centimeters in length. Males reach an average weight of about 430 grams and females are larger at 750 grams. Lanner Falcons have rufous napes and crowns with white coloring over their underparts. These are streaked and spotted with brown or black. Their heads have narrow black caps and there are malar stripes below their eyes. Lanner Falcons have grayish or brown backs and their flight and tail feathers are of a gray color, which are sometimes barred black and the tail has a thin white edge. The wing coverts may be buff or whitish and are not patterned. The cere, orbital ring and feet are yellow or orange-yellow; they are bluish grey in juvenile birds. Lanner Falcons have bills, which are dark gray with blackish tips, and their eyes dark brown.

The Lanner Falcon is found predominantly in Africa. They have also been reported in southern Italy, Greece and Asia Minor. Although Lanner Falcons have largely benefited from the clearing of grasslands opening their hunting range, they may be threatened due to ingestion of agricultural chemicals used in fields where they find their prey. Lanner Falcons are not loved by farmers, either, as occasionally they will take poultry for their prey. In populated areas, they can be harmed by people or electrocuted in power lines; however, in areas where the Lanner Falcon is protected it thrives.

pekkavalo1, ralfsworld, Miss_Piggy, nardophoto has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To SueThomson: Hi SueFunkyMunky 1 04-12 08:14
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,

Very nice capture of Lanner Falcon in action. Good POV, DOF and composition with sharp details and natural colours. Good work.

Thanks for sharing


Hi Peter
This is really cool action shot... or nice catch for both of you!

Hallo Peter
I was wondering when you were going to post some off the images taken during your Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park trip. You actually surprised me, because I expected to see a posting of a lion, as you did mention that you saw lion everyday. This is nevertheless a stunning in shot, of the falcon and its prey. I know not many people like to see photos like these but that is true nature out there. This is indeed a beautiful bird and the patterns and markings on the plumage are displayed beautifully. It has rather huge eyes and it looks very cold and without feeling. Suppose it is not uncommon for a bird of prey having such eyes. Nicely done and presented. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your day.
Kind regards

Hi Peter,
congratulation for this shot.
Lanner is one of my preferred species, in Italy has the F.b. subspecies feldeggi. I have made a workshop why I have inasmuch as your photo is a bit soft. You go to see and tell me what of think it.
TFS and sorry for my bad and little english.

A lovely shot of nature in action. I liked the way the falcon was looking up, guarding his prey. I also like how the picture was sharpened in Angelo's workshop.


  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-04-12 1:39]

Hi Peter
this is very good action and sharp
have a nice day

Calibration Check