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Falcons Falconidae (6)

(Banner Photos: Sparrowhawk (above), Kestrel (nelow) by Jim Wilson)

Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common resident breeding species throughout the county. Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
Rare vagrant.
Six county records up to the end of 2014.

2012 Adult male, Owenahincha, 24th May.
2012 Female, Cape Clear, 27th March.
1997 Churchtown South, an adult female from the 9th to the 17th May.
1995 Ballymacoda, a first-summer male on the 15th April.
1994 Cape Clear Island, a second-year male on the 4th May.
1991 Cape Clear Island, an adult male on the 31st May.

Distribution: Beeds in eastern Europe and west, central and north-central Asia, with its main range from Belarus south to Hungary, northern Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Moldova and east Bulgaria, eastward through Ukraine and north-west and south Russia and north Kazakhstan to extreme north-west China and the upper Lena river (Russia). It winters in southern Africa, from South Africa northwards to southern Kenya. (Birdlife International)

Merlin Falco columbarius
Very scarce (and probably declining) breeding species on upland moorland in the north of the county. Otherwise uncommon on the coast with numbers increased by passage migrants and winter visitors.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution

Taiga Merlin (American race)
2000 Cape Clear, Female, 29th September. 1st county and 2nd Western Palearctic record.

Hobby Falco subbuteo
Occasional passage migrant in both spring and autumn, with occasional birds also seen in summer.

110 records involving 109 birds (one, a returning individual) up to the end of 2014.

57 records between 2010 and the end of 2013.

Birds were seen at the following locations: Ballinwilling, Ballycotton, Ballymacoda, Ballyvergan Marsh, Baltimore, Belgooly, Brow Head, Cape Clear Island, Carrigrohan, Castlemary (Cloyne), Castletownbere, Cloonkeen East, Cuskinny Marsh, Dursey Island, Dursey Island, Glanmire, Glengarriff, Gokane House (near Skibbereen), Gyleen, Inch Strand, Kilbrittain, Kilcolman NNR, Kilkerran Lake, Killeagh, Knockgriffin (Midleton), Minane Bridge, Mizen Head and Lissagriffin, Old Head of Kinsale, Pilmore, Robert's Cove, Roche's Point, Rostellan, Sherkin Island, Skibbereen, Three Castles Head, Mizen Head, White's Marsh (Clonakilty)Yougal,

Of those aged, the majority were adults. All records between April and October with most in May and October.

Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus
Rare vagrant.
Seven county records up to end of 2014.

2009 A white morph at Lisgoold north of Midelton on 13th April
2002 A white morph at Drinagh on the 11th February.
2001 A white morph at Brow Head on the 29th and 30th August.
1970 Near Midleton, immature male, shot, 6th March.
1905 One, Mizen Head, one obtained/shot March. (Kennedy et al 1954)
1888 One, Fastnet Rock, 5th December. (Ussher & Warren 1900)
1883 One, Blackrock, captured alive on 23rd November. (Ussher & Warren 1900)

Distribution: breeds in Greenland, Iceland, Fennoscandia and arctic Russia, with
Europe accounting for a tiny proportion of its global breeding range.

Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Uncommon resident breeding species, both on the coast and inland. May be increasing.
Summer Distribution Winter Distribution