Raptors | Black Falcon > in flight ◦

A medium-large raptor, the Black Falcon (Falco subniger) is endemic to and found across mainland Australia. They are associated with the sparse plains of inland Australia, although they are also seen over farmland.

Black Falcon (Falco subniger)
Black Falcon (Falco subniger), Kunoth Bore, Central Australia

The Black Falcon is a dark brown to sooty black in colour, 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 females are larger than males.

In flight, they have broad wings that taper to a point and a long narrow tail that come to a squared tip, with a step at the corners. In flight they glide with slightly drooped wings. When perched, you can see they have short feathered legs.


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