The Lanner falcon is indigenous to Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey and parts of North Africa and the Middle East. It is a bird of mountainous terrain except in Africa, where it can also be found in savannahs, plains and deserts.

Lanner Falcons are closely related to the Peregrine Falcon. They are similar in size and coloring. One difference is that the Lanner falcon will also hunt ground prey, and has a flying style lower to the ground to take advantage of this.

The Lanner Falcon is a fast-flying bird and is well designed for catching small to medium sized birds. Small birds may be taken in the air, while larger ones will be attacked while on the ground. It is the only falcon known to attack birds head-on, that is, travelling in the opposite direction to itself. This requires exceptional timing and coordination.

The latest information estimates numbers in Europe to be between 150 - 200 pairs, a massive decline since the 1960's probably caused by environmental poisoning in the same way that the Peregrine was affected. At present it is probably Europe's most endangered raptor.



Lanners are the most gentle and better natured of the falcons. They are a favourite falconers' bird, and many are bred in captivity each year.