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The lanner falcon (Falco biarmicus) is a medium-sized bird of prey that breeds in Africa, southeast Europe and just into Asia. To distinguish from the Peregrine, Lanner Falcons are often more reddish about the head and tend to lack the dark "hood" characteristic of the Peregrine. One of the oldest species of heirofalcons, Lanners have been used in falconry for more than a thousand years. They are especially prized for their ability to capture other birds, such as pigeons or grouse. Lanners are fast, agile flyers, and not afraid to follow prey into underbrush. Unlike Peregrines, who are famed for the 200 mph dives (called "stoops" in falconry), Lanners use a horizontal hunting style, coming at their prey low, flat, and fast. Generating speeds of up to 90 mph using wingbeats alone, Lanners will strike a bird in flight to stun it, then follow it to the ground to finish the kill.Lanner Falcons are one of the few raptor species to engage in cooperative hunting. Mated pairs hunt together, with the male generally flushing prey for the female to capture, or both birds trading off in pursuit of prey on the wing. In lean winter months, small groups of Lanner Falcons will even band together and hunt in a pack.
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