Laggar falcon

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Laggar falcon
Laggar Falcon (Falco jugger).jpg
In Rajasthan, India
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Subgenus: Hierofalco
Species:
F. jugger
Binomial name
Falco jugger
J.E. Gray, 1834
Juvenile laggars are brown birds overall, very similar to juveniles of saker Falcon Falco cherrug cherrug. Markings on underparts vary from dark chocolaty brown to sparse brown blotches.
Laggar falcon juvenile in flight; Juvenile laggars are brown birds overall, very similar to juveniles of saker Falcon Falco cherrug cherrug. Markings on underparts vary from dark chocolaty brown to sparse brown blotches.

The laggar falcon (Falco jugger) is a mid-sized bird of prey which occurs in the Indian subcontinent from extreme southeastern Iran, southeastern Afghanistan, Pakistan, through India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and northwestern Myanmar.

It resembles the lanner falcon but is darker overall, and has blackish "trousers" (tibiotarsus feathers). Fledglings have an almost entirely dark underside, and first-year subadult birds still retain much dark on the belly.

This species belongs to a close-knit complex of falcons known as hierofalcons. In this group, there is ample evidence for rampant hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting which confounds analyses of DNA sequence data to a massive extent; molecular studies with small sample sizes can simply not be expected to yield reliable conclusions in the entire hierofalcon group. The radiation of the entire living diversity of hierofalcons seems to have taken place in the Eemian interglacial at the start of the Late Pleistocene, a mere 130,000-115,000 years ago; the laggar falcon represents a lineage that arrived at its present range out of eastern Africa by way of the Arabian Peninsula which during that time had a more humid climate than today.[2]

Juvenile Laggar Falcon

Laggar falcons used to be the most common falcons in the region, but numbers have declined markedly in recent times and today it is probably nowhere a common species anymore. The main threats are the intensification of pesticide use in the region and use as a decoy to trap large falcons.

Gallery[edit]

Classic plumage of adult laggar Falcon, very plain whitish underparts, thin dark contrasting moustachial stripe, slight reddish head and bluish/gray Upperparts. Bare parts darker yellow.
Adult Laggar falcon; Classic plumage of adult laggar Falcon, very plain whitish underparts, thin dark contrasting moustachial stripe, slight reddish head and bluish/gray Upperparts. Bare parts darker yellow.

References[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Falco jugger". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Helbig et al. (1994), Wink et al. (1998), Wink et al. (2004), Nittinger et al. (2005)
  • Helbig, A.J.; Seibold, I.; Bednarek, W.; Brüning, H.; Gaucher, P.; Ristow, D.; Scharlau, W.; Schmidl, D. & Wink, Michael (1994): Phylogenetic relationships among falcon species (genus Falco) according to DNA sequence variation of the cytochrome b gene. In: Meyburg, B.-U. & Chancellor, R.D. (eds.): Raptor conservation today: 593-599. PDF fulltext
  • Nittinger, F.; Haring, E.; Pinsker, W.; Wink, Michael & Gamauf, A. (2005): Out of Africa? Phylogenetic relationships between Falco biarmicus and other hierofalcons (Aves Falconidae). Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 43(4): 321-331. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0469.2005.00326.x PDF fulltext
  • In this pair of laggar falcons, left one is an adult male with darker head and the other one is an adult female. Her head is pale compared to that male. Such variations are not unusual.
    Laggar Falcon Pair; In this pair of laggar falcons, left one is an adult male with darker head and the other one is an adult female. Her head is pale compared to that male. Such variations are not unusual.
    Wink, Michael; Seibold, I.; Lotfikhah, F. & Bednarek, W. (1998): Molecular systematics of holarctic raptors (Order Falconiformes). In: Chancellor, R.D., Meyburg, B.-U. & Ferrero, J.J. (eds.): Holarctic Birds of Prey: 29-48. Adenex & WWGBP. PDF fulltext
  • Wink, Michael; Sauer-Gürth, Hedi; Ellis, David & Kenward, Robert (2004): Phylogenetic relationships in the Hierofalco complex (Saker-, Gyr-, Lanner-, Laggar Falcon). In: Chancellor, R.D. & Meyburg, B.-U. (eds.): Raptors Worldwide: 499-504. WWGBP, Berlin. PDF fulltext

External links[edit]