A medium-large falcon, the Black Falcon (Falco subniger) is endemic to and found across mainland Australia.

The Black Falcon is a dark brown to sooty black in colouration, with a dark stripe below the eye. Whilst the chick have white down, the juveniles are usually darker than the adults. The underwing feathers have a two-toned, with the flight feathers being slightly paler. Some adult birds have a white chin, spots on the underwing coverts or in some instances, bars on the undertail coverts.

The cere (the waxy fleshy covering at the base of the upper beak in some birds), eye ring and feet are pale grey. The eye is dark brown and tip of the beak is black. The talons are also black.

The falcon’s body is streamlined with a relatively long tail, with tail making up about half the length of the body. The wings are long and pointed tapering toward wing tip. The female black falcons are larger than the males.

Images © Dorothy L

  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Genus: Falco
  • Species: F. subniger
  • Binomial name: Falco subniger