Pygmy Falcon ( Polihierax semitorquatus, family: Falconidae)

The Pygmy Falcon (Latin name Polihierax semitorquatus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 186 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 544 also a picture of the Pygmy Falcon on page 433. The Pygmy Falcon belongs to the family of birds classified as Falconidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Pygmy Falcon is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Pygmy Falcon in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Pygmy Falcon has been recorded in only 1 sections of the arbitrary Kruger Park regions I selected.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Pygmy Falcon is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Pygmy Falcon is about 20 cms and its weight is about 70 gms

You will find that the male Pygmy Falcon plumage and colours are different to that of the female Pygmy Falcon

  • Head is white, grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is grey.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is grey.
  • Legs are orange.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Pygmy Falcon feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly



Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Pygmy Falcon takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Pygmy Falcon is to use the nest of another bird. The surrogate family then raise the chicks. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 1 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Pygmy Falcon are: arid regions

You can expect to see Pygmy Falcon in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Dwergvalk

German ... Zwergfalke

Portuguese ... Falco-pigmeu

French ... Fauconnet d'Afrique

Dutch ... Afrikaanse Dwergvalk/Halsbandvalk

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 186

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,