New Zealand Falcon

Maori Name: 
Karearea
Scientific Name: 
Falco novaeseelandiae
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Male 43 cm, 300 g; Female 47 cm, 500 g. Fast-flying raptor with rapid beats of long pointed wings; also soars and glides. Adult has head, sides of face and vertical patch (like drooping moustache) below eye dark brownish black, faint rufous eyebrow; nape, back, wings and tail bluish black, faintly barred buff. Base of bill and chin white, throat and sides of neck buff streaked dark brown; breast and belly dark brown narrowly barred white; thigh and undertail rufous. Bill black, greyer at base; cere, legs and feet yellow; eye dark brown. Juvenile distinctly darker brown and less boldly marked. Bush Falcon (North and northwestern South Is) as above; eastern form (eastern South I) larger and paler; southern form (southwestern South, Stewart and Auckland Is) intermediate, more rufous on Auckland I. Often perches high in trees or on a rock, swoops to catch prey. Call a loud rapid ''kek-kek-kek''. Habitat: Forests and bush patches, open tussockland of South I. Juveniles wander to cities, orchards, riverbeds and offshore islands. Breeding: Sep-Feb.

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