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Falco concolor

warning Near Threatened
NT (D1)

Contributed: Avner Rinot, Meidad Goren, Barak Granit, Asaf Mayrose, Noam Weiss

The Sooty Falcon is classified as Near Threatened (NT) because of its small population size (about 200 mature individuals), combined with a regional adjustment for being a marginal population at the edge of its global range. In addition, it is classified as globally endangered (Vulnerable – VU). In the previous edition of the Red Book (2002), it was classified as Vulnerable (VU). The apparent improvement in its status does not reflect a real improvement, but mainly differences in methods and the quality of the data between the editions.
NT Current Regional Assessment | VU Previous Regional Assessment | VU World Assessment

Habitats Desert Cliffs
Presence In Israel Summer Breeder, Migrant
Nesting In Israel Breeder
Migration Types Long Range
Zoography Zones Saharo-Arabian
Landscape Formations Cliffs
Vegetation Densities Low
Nest Locations Cliffs
Diet Types Vertebrate
Foraging Grounds Aerial
Body Sizes Small (up to 500g)
Threat Factors Hiking & Climbing, Aircraft Activity, Human Activity

The Sooty Falcon is a slim, elegant long-winged falcon that nests on arid desert cliffs, occasionally near seacoasts. The mature bird is blackish-dark grey, with the exception of its legs, eye ring and cere that are bright yellow. In flight, it is identified by its long sharp silhouette and its tendency to glide on half-closed wings. It specializes in catching birds and bats in flight. Nesting occurs late in the summer to coincide with autumn migration of small passerine that provide food for their young.

The Sooty Falcon is a relatively rare summer breeder in the Eilat Mountains, the Arava, the Negev Highlands and the Judean Desert north to Nahal Arugot (Frumkin & Man 1984, Shirihai 1996, Goren & Granit 2014).

  • גורן, מ. וגרניט, ב. 2014. סקר קינון בזים שחורים בחבל המדברי של ישראל, 2011-2014. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים ומרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • גרניט, ב., גורן, מ. ושני, א., 2011. סקר קינון בזים שחורים בנגב, דרום מדבר יהודה והרי אילת, סתיו 2011. דו"ח רשות הטבע והגנים ומרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
  • פז, ע. 1986. עופות. מתוך אלון, ע. (עורך), החי והצומח של ארץ ישראל. כרך 6. הוצאת משרד הביטחון, ישראל.
  • פרלמן, י., שוחט, א. ולבינגר, ז. 2009. סקר אטלס ציפורים בערבה סיכום שנת 2009. דו"ח מרכז הצפרות של החברה להגנת הטבע.
Contributed: Avner Rinot, Meidad Goren, Barak Granit, Asaf Mayrose, Noam Weiss

Current Occupancy Map

Distribution maps

The maps presented here provide visual information on the distribution of species in Israel in the past and present, and the changes in occupancy and nesting density during the comparison period. For further reading

Relative Abundance 2010-2020

Breeding density values as calculated from observation records and expert opinions.

Relative Abundance 1980-1990

Breeding density values are based mainly on the book Birds of Israel (Shirihai 1996).

Occupancy difference 1990-2020

A map that expresses differences in the breeding distribution between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative value - species previously present but is currently absent, positive value - species has not been recorded previously and is currently present, zero - no change in occupancy.

Relative abundance difference 1990-2020

A map that reflects the changes in the relative abundance of the species between the evaluation periods (1980-1990 versus 2010-2020). Negative values - decline in abundance, positive values - increase in abundance, zero - no change in abundance.

Red number

IUCN category

() districts
% of protected sites

Other Species

Falco naumanni
Falco biarmicus
Falco tinnunculus
Falco cherrug