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A photo of a Pygmy Falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus), male
Pygmy Falcon, Male

Pygmy Falcon

Polihierax semitorquatus

The pygmy falcon (Polihierax semitorquatus) or African pygmy falcon is a bird species native to eastern and southern Africa. It is the smallest bird of prey on the continent. Adult pygmy falcons are white below and on the face, grey above, and females having a chestnut back. There are white "eye spots" on the nape. Juveniles have a brown back, duller than adult females, with a rufous wash on the breast. The flight feathers of the wings are spotted black and white (more black above, more white below); the tail is barred black and white. The flight is low and undulating. In size, pattern, and the habit of perching upright on an exposed branch or treetop, this species resembles some shrikes. The call is "a high-pitched kikiKIK, repeated" (Kenya) or "a 'chip-chip' and a 'kik-kik-kik-kik'" (southern Africa).
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