Eurasian kestrel Falco tinnunculus, from here.

Belongs within: Falconidae.

Falco is a cosmopolitan genus containing the true falcons; the peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus is one of the world's most widely distributed bird species. Falcons have long pointed wings, unfeathered tarsi and a notch in the upper bill.

In the tree below, the first group to separate from the remaining species (Falco zoniventris to F. tinnunculus) contains the kestrels, mostly small falcons that hover while looking for prey. The remaining species are mostly larger and often darker in coloration, though the American kestrel F. sparverius is the smallest falcon in North America. The merlin F. columbarius is another small, but relatively robust, species. The Amur falcon F. amurensis and red-footed falcon F. vespertinus are Palaearctic species in which the male is mostly dark grey with red beak and feet.

Falco Linnaeus 1758 CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |--+--F. zoniventris JT12
    |  `--+--F. naumanni JT12
    |     `--+--F. punctatus BKB15
    |        `--+--F. rupicoloides BKB15 [=*Megacerchneis rupicoloides CC10]
    |           `--+--+--F. araea BKB15
    |              |  `--F. newtoni JT12
    |              `--+--F. cenchroides Vigors & Horsfield 1827 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |                 |    |--F. c. cenchroides (see below for synonymy) CC10
    |                 |    `--F. c. baru CC10
    |                 `--F. tinnunculus Linnaeus 1758 JT12, M02 (see below for synonymy)
    |                      |--F. t. tinnunculus VP89
    |                      |--F. t. interstictus VP89
    |                      `--F. t. saturatus VP89
    `--+--+--F. amurensis BKB15
       |  `--F. vespertinus Linnaeus 1766 JT12, M02
       `--+--+--F. dickinsoni BKB15
          |  `--+--F. deiroleucus BKB15
          |     `--+--F. longipennis Swainson 1837 JT12, WS48 (see below for synonymy)
          |        `--+--F. eleonorae BKB15
          |           `--+--F. concolor BKB15
          |              `--+--F. cuvierii BKB15
          |                 `--F. subbuteo Linnaeus 1758 JT12, M02 [=*Hypotriorchis subbuteo CC10]
          `--+--+--F. columbarius Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, L58
             |  |    |--F. c. columbarius VP89
             |  |    `--F. c. insignis VP89
             |  `--F. sparverius Linnaeus 1758 JT12, L58 [=Cerchneis sparveria S18]
             |       |--F. s. sparverius HRS06
             |       `--F. s. fernandensis (Chapman 1915) HRS06
             `--+--+--F. novaeseelandiae Gmelin 1788 BKB15, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                |  `--+--F. femoralis BKB15
                |     `--F. rufigularis BKB15
                `--+--+--F. berigora Vigors & Horsfield 1827 BKB15, WS48 [=*Ieracidea berigora CC10]
                   |  |    |--F. b. berigora [incl. Ieracidea occidentalis Gould 1844] WS48
                   |  |    `--F. b. centralia (Mathews 1916) [=Ieracidea berigora centralia] WS48
                   |  `--F. chicquera JT12
                   `--+--F. mexicanus JT12
                      `--+--+--F. pelegrinoides JT12
                         |  `--*F. peregrinus Tunstall 1771 CC10, JT12, M02 [=*Rhynchodon peregrinus CC10]
                         |       |--F. p. peregrinus WS48
                         |       |--F. p. anatum USDI77
                         |       |--F. p. fruitii Momiyama 1927 I92
                         |       |--F. p. harterti Buturlin 1907 I92
                         |       |--F. p. japonensis Gmelin 1788 I92
                         |       |--F. p. macropus Swainson 1837 [incl. F. peregrinus submelanogenys Mathews 1912] WS48
                         |       |--F. p. pealei Ridgway 1874 I92
                         |       `--F. p. tundrius USDI77
                         `--+--F. cherrug Gray 1844 BKB15, M02 [incl. F. antiquus Mourer-Chauviré 1975 M02]
                            |--+--F. biarmicus BKB15
                            |  `--F. rusticolus Linnaeus 1758 BKB15, M02
                            `--+--F. jugger BKB15
                               `--F. subniger Gray 1843 BKB15, CC10 [=*Notofalco subniger CC10]

Falco incertae sedis:
  ‘Tinnunculus’ alaudarius B66
  F. albigularis S18
  F. alopex JT12
  F. ardosiaceus JT12
  F. bakalovi Boev 1999 M02
  F. barbarus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. cachinnans Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. caerulescens Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. canadensis Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. communis [incl. F. radama] Sch66
  F. duboisi HSS13
  F. fasciinucha JT12
  F. forficatus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. fulvus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. gyrfalco Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. hypoleucos Gould 1840 WS48 [=*Palifalco hypoleucos CC10]
  F. kreyenborgi FP64
  F. lanarius Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. lunulatus R87
  F. medius Umans’ka 1981 M02
  F. melanaetus Linnaeus 1758 L58
  F. melanogenys [=F. peregrinus melanogenys] S13
  F. moluccensis JT12
    |--F. m. moluccensis J06
    `--F. m. microbalia J06
  ‘Hieracidea’ orientalis R87
  F. rupicolus CC10 [=*Cerchneis rupicolus CC10, Tinnunculus rupicola Scl66]
  F. severus JT12
  F. sufflator Linnaeus 1758 L58

Falco Linnaeus 1758 CC10 [=Rhynchodon Nitzsch 1829 CC10; incl. Cerchneis Boie 1826 CC10, Harpa Sharpe 1874 non Röding 1798  CC10, Harpe Bonaparte 1855 non Lacépède 1802 CC10, Hypotriorchis Boie 1826 CC10, Hieracidea Strickland 1841 CC10, Ieracidea Gould 1838 CC10, Megacerchneis Roberts 1922 CC10, Nesierax Oberholser 1899 CC10, Notofalco Mathews 1913 CC10, Palifalco Mathews 1946 CC10, Tinnunculus Vieillot 1807 B94]

Falco cenchroides Vigors & Horsfield 1827 BKB15, CC10 [=Cerchneis cenchroides CC10, Tinnunculus cenchroides R87]

Falco cenchroides cenchroides Vigors & Horsfield 1827 [incl. Cerchneis immaculata Brehm 1845, C. cenchroides milligani Mathews 1912 WS48, C. unicolor Milligan 1904] CC10

Falco longipennis Swainson 1837 JT12, WS48 [incl. F. lunulatus murchisonianus Mathews 1912 WS48, F. longipennis murchisonianus M03]

Falco novaeseelandiae Gmelin 1788 BKB15, CC10 [=Cerchneis novaezealandiae CC10, *Harpe novaeseelandiae CC10, *Harpe novaezealandiae CC10, Hieracidea novaezealandiae CC10, Hypotriorchis novaezealandiae CC10, Ieracidea novaezealandiae CC10, *Nesierax novaeseelandiae CC10, *Nesierax (*Harpa) novaezealandiae CC10, Teracidea (l. c.) novazealandiae CC10; incl. Falco australis Hombron & Jacquinot 1841 non Gmelin 1788 CC10, Harpa australis CC10, Nesierax australis CC10, Falco brunnea Gould 1838 non F. brunneus Bechstein 1805 CC10, F. brunneus Gould 1838 non F. brunneus Bechstein 1805 CC10, Hieracidea brunnea CC10, F. ferox Peale 1848 CC10, F. harpe Gray in Dieffenbach 1843 CC10, Nesierax pottsi Mathews & Iredale 1913 CC10]

Falco tinnunculus Linnaeus 1758 JT12, M02 [incl. F. tinnunculus atavus Jánossy 1972 M02, F. brunneus Bechstein 1805 CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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Last updated: 5 August 2019.

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