IN MALLORCA, LOOK FOR AT… WHERE ELSE CAN I SEE IT?
Rocky coasts are the place to look for one of Europe’s rarest raptors. Here they time their own breeding season for late summer and early autumn, so that they can feed their young on the glut of prey provided by exhausted and often inexperienced small passerine migrants. Several can sometimes be seen hunting together (although not co-operatively, as such). They fly into the wind, looking for incoming prey, before making the kill with a sharp stoop. Dawn is a particularly good time to look for them, as they target night-flying migrants. Arriving late in April, and staying until early November, there are several hundred pairs breeding on Mallorca. Most are on the west coast, and there are large colonies on Cabrera, Dragonera, Cap Formentor and Cala Sant Vincenc – check these from August onwards. Prior to the breeding season, look for it hawking for insects at Albufera Reserve or over nearby open forest areas and at Son Bosc. Boat trips are available to help you get the best views of these sites, and could also bring the added bonus of a Balearic Shearwater. This superb raptor can also be seen in the Boquer Valley and at Cases Velles, while there are also opportunities to stop on the road between Puerto Pollensa and Cap Formentor. Outside the Balearics, not in many places at all! The Canary Islands, Sardinia and islands off Italy, islands in the Adriatic and Aegean, and on Cyprus. In late autumn, they migrate to the Red Sea, then Madagascar.
Longer-winged and tailed than Peregrine and Hobby
Flight is acrobatic and dashing, and shows frequent changes of speed
Dark-morph birds (all sooty brown and black) occur, too MORE INFO
Eleonora’s Falcon Dragonera