Falco Eleonorae  polymorphic, with pale and dark morphs. From below, dark underwing coverts contrast with paler flight-feathers, breast and belly cream colored to reddish brown streaked black. Dark morph all blackish. Female slightly larger. juvenile also dimorphic, generally browner than corresponding adult plumages.

Eleonora’s Falconis breeding in large colonies on rocky islets of the Mediterranean, along the Atlantic coast of Morocco and on the Canary islands. It is wintering in south-eastern Africa and Madagascar. The total population of the European Union is estimated at 3500-4000 breeding pairs, which represents 80-90% of the world population of this species. In some areas an increase has been reported, elsewhere a decrease.
The range of Eleonora´s Falcon coincides almost completely with the Mediterranean basin. Breeding sites are distributed between the Canary Islands in the west and Cyprus in the east. The centre of the species range is the Aegean islands and Crete, which hold about 70 % of the world population. Whilst the wintering grounds are in Madagascar and for a fraction of the population probably in Tanzania, too, migration data are sketchy. Population trends on a historical scope are not available. From the Balearic Islands a yearly increase of 4 % has been recorded recently, in Italy there seems to be an increase of 10% in ten years, whereas a 15 % decline has been noted in Crete in the past decade. In Madagascar, the species appears to have decreased in 1991-97. Southern France and Corsica, Malta, Albania, and Turkey and to a lesser degree Portugal and Bulgaria are visited regularly by a substantial part of the falcon population during April-October although there are no breeding colonies near-by.

Eleonora´s Falcons nest at the seaside, on steep cliffs as well as on flat quiet islets if there are corners with shade for most of the day as can be found on islets of limestone or volcanic geology. Some nests may be under e.g. Euphorbia bush or can even be completely exposed to the sun, a critical situation in case of disturbances. In the pre-breeding months, some adults roost in the breeding cliffs, others stay away for several days. The feeding areas in spring/summer can be more than 20 km away from the breeding site. They must consist of sufficient agriculture, forest, and wetland areas to support the population of a colony with insects from April till August, offer access to fresh water and quiet communal roosting sites (trees) for overnight stays in April to July. This feeding area may well extend over 1000 sq. km for a single colony.

Eleonora´s Falcons nest at the seaside, on steep cliffs as well as on flat quiet islets if there are corners with shade for most of the day as can be found on islets of limestone or volcanic geology. Some nests may be under e.g. Euphorbia bush or can even be completely exposed to the sun, a critical situation in case of disturbances. In the pre-breeding months, some adults roost in the breeding cliffs, others stay away for several days. The feeding areas in spring/summer can be more than 20 km away from the breeding site. They must consist of sufficient agriculture, forest, and wetland areas to support the population of a colony with insects from April till August, offer access to fresh water and quiet communal roosting sites (trees) for overnight stays in April to July. This feeding area may well extend over 1000 sq. km for a single colony.
Eleonora´s Falcons typically breed in colonies of 10-300 pairs. Nests are spaced 20-50 m apart, but cases of only 2 m nest distance are known. Lowest nests are at an altitude of about 5 m, i.e. just enough so that they are not washed away by high waves of the sea, while others are at the top of a cliff more than 100 m high. Nests can be distributed for several kilometres along a cliff or may be concentrated on uninhabited islands of 1-100 ha in size. Age of first breeding is at 2-3 years. Although this falcon returns to the Mediterranean in the second half of April, colonies are visited irregularly until intensive courtship in July begins. 1-3 (in the west up to 4) eggs per nest are laid during the second half of July and the chicks hatch one month later, a few as late as 10-15 September. They fledge 40 days later, so by mid October almost all young can fly. In the first days of November colonies are deserted. Egg losses under natural conditions can amount up to 43 % ( 25 % rat predation, 10 % infertility, 8 % due to sun irradiation in an undisturbed colony) and chick losses up to 10 %, respectively. A breeding success of 1.2 fledgling per started nest is needed for sustaining a colony.

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