Tinnunculus alopex Heuglin, 1861, Gallabat, Sudan. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Crйcerelle renard; German: Fuchsfalke; Spanish: Cernнcalo Zorruno.
13.8–15.4 in (35–39 cm); 8.8–10.6 oz (250–300 g). A large deep-chestnut kestrel with long broad wings and long tail. Chestnut all over, streaked with black. Juveniles are more heavily marked. Unlike most kestrels, sexes indistinguishable by color but female larger than male.
Central Africa: from Senegambia east to Red Sea, Ethiopia, south to northeast Zaire, northwest Kenya, and northeast Uganda.
Cliffs, rocky outcrops, and hills adjoining open arid savanna.
Moves south from more arid parts of range in dry season (October to March) to attend bush fires; with rains, returns north to nest. Elsewhere appears sedentary.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Hunts large insects, small mammals and birds, and lizards. Drops onto prey from perch or from hover, or snatches from the air in direct flight (termites). Said to remain on the wing for long periods. Follows fires to catch animals flushed by the flames.
Nests semicolonially, 20–25 pairs in proximity on a rock face. Lays about March to May in a shallow scrape on a ledge. Clutch size two or three.
Not threatened. Species little known but thought to be secure. Human exploitation and savanna degradation may be a threat.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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