Birds – Saker Falcon

The last of this group that we shall have space to mention is the Saker Falcon (F. cherrug), a large, handsome bird ranging from south-eastern Europe through central Asia to China and India. The male is about eighteen inches long while the female is much larger, reaching the length of twenty-four and one half inches. It has unusually long toes and claws, and has the plumage pale, earthy brown above, each feather margin with rufous, and aside from the pure white face and throat, the under parts are whitish streaked with brown. The tail is long, brown above, the feathers barred with whitish on the inner web, and oval spotted with the same on the outer web. The head is pale rufous, sometimes bleaching nearly white. The Saker frequents open country, feeding in some parts of its range at least on large spiny lizards. The nest, a rather small affair, is placed in trees, and the eggs are said to be usually four in number. In certain parts of its range, notably India, where it is called the Cherug, and in Palestine, the Saker is trained for “hawking,” being flown at gazelles, hares, cranes, etc.