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Australian Hobby - BirdForum Opus

F. l. longipennis
Photo © by peterday
Tolderol Game Reserve, South Australia, 17 March 2021

Alternative name: Little Falcon

Falco longipennis


30-36 cm (11¾-14¼ in)
One of Australia's smallest raptors it resembles the Peregrine Falcon, however it is much smaller and has darker plumage. It gets its scientific name from its narrow long-flighted wings.

Similar Species

Photo © by Mat & Cathy
Lake Tutchewop, northern Victoria, Australia, January 2009

In flight may resemble White-throated Needletail.


1st Year - F. l. longipennis
Photo © by peterday
Tolderol Game Reserve, South Australia, 17 March 2021

Found mainly in Australia. It is also a winter migrant to Indonesia and New Guinea.


Photo © by aussietrev
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, February 2008


There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • F. l. hanieli:
  • F. l. murchisonianus:
  • F. l. longipennis:


Open forest, including monsoon rainforests and scrub, savanna, parks and gardens. Lakes and marshes.


It inhabits open woodlands where it manoeuvres swiftly through the foliage in chase of other birds.


They will hunt small birds, up to nearly their own size, and are often seen at dusk hunting bats and large insects.


When breeding it takes over nests of other birds. The female incubates and broods young while the male hunts.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Lepage D. (2021) [Avibase - https://avibase.ca/B88ECE1C ]. Retrieved 12 May 2021
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Birdforum Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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