Black Falcons

To: "Birding Aus" <>, <>
Subject: Black Falcons
From: "Bill Jolly" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 13:23:51 +1000
Hi Peter

In answer to your question about Black Falcons, I tend to see them mostly in
an area that I'd describe roughly as being bound by Helidon in the west,
Atkinson's Dam in the north, and Laidley in the east. Most of my sightings
are probably (1) between Forest Hill and Lake Clarendon area, or (2) out
this way (towards Helidon), but then I spend more time overall around my
home area, so that doesn't have to mean that the birds are here more
frequently than anywhere else in the valley.  

In my own experience, in the Lockyer Valley and elsewhere, most encounters
are in open areas with a single bird moving dynamically through the sky with
the impetus, on a much larger scale, of a huge powerful Hobby. Not the
physical appearance of a Hobby!  I'm referring to the speed, the dash, the
impression of fast-moving business-like intent. It's subjective of course,
but that's the way they invariably strike me.

The whole shape and dynamics of the bird are distinctly different to a Brown
Falcon, which I suppose is the raptor most likely to be queried when looking
for a Black Falcon. Stephen Debus discusses this well in his Birds of Prey
field guide. 

On several occasions, I've seen Black Falcons pursuing other raptors, even
diving on a Wedge-tailed Eagle on the ground. Now and then a pair will
appear together and exhibit a wonderfully aerobatic, tumbling courtship

I don't know where they are nesting, and can't recommend any particular
location inside the area I've described above. From the frequency and
location of my own sightings, I'm left with the impression of just one pair
of wide-ranging birds hereabouts - but that isn't analytical in any
structured way, just my impression. I'd be happy to be wrong about that.

Watch out for an exciting, often high-flying, longish-tailed, broad-winged
falcon, bigger than a Peregrine, splendidly direct and powerful, and not
really black.  

Good luck, do please let me know how you get on.

All the best

Bill Jolly
Lockyer Valley, Queensland.
Visit our website at <>  
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Ph: (+61) 7 4697 6111  Fax: (+61) 7 4697 6056 

-----Original Message-----
From: "PJ (ITD)" <>
To: <>
Subject: Black Falcons - Bill Jolly
Date: Tue, 7 Jan 2003 11:41:10 +1000

Perhaps Bill jolly can assist me here. I was at Lake Clarendon (near 
Gatton SE QLD) last Friday for the first time (could visualise the 
"lake" bit). I had read that a pair of Black Falcons was resident in
this area however only raptors observed were whistling kite, brown
falcons, Australian hobby, black shouldered kites and nankeen kestrels.

Any clues on where and when to observe the Black Falcons?



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