Promoting the Conservation of Native Birds in Taranaki and New Zealand and Providing information and resources on the New Zealand Falcon and Bats

New Zealand Falcon Report Sighting Observation

Though the NZ Falcon Distribution Survey has now been officially completed it is considered important that Observation reports for NZ falcon should still be collected and collated.

Report a NZ Falcon Observation

If you have seen or heard falcon and wish to report this you can either, report this on-line at the Observation Report Form or download a Observation Report Form here and simply follow the information detailed on the form.

report observtion of nz falcon

If you have any photographs of your NZ falcon encounter and would like to share these please send as an attachment to:  

If you have any questions or want further clarification please contact

All observation information provided will be held securely and will not be provided to any third party without due process being followed. There are policies in place to safeguard both the information and the welfare of the falcon.

Results of NZ Falcon Surveys

Information on the results of previous NZ falcon surveys can be found at Distribution of NZ Falcon.

Was it a NZ Falcon?

Are you sure what you saw/heard was a NZ Falcon? Please don't feel insulted but it is important our records are as accurate as possible. If you are not sure or want to be certain check out Recognising a NZ Falcon below or note your doubt on the Observation Report Form and we will check back with you.

Also additional images and information on the NZ falcon can be found on the Information on Observing NZ Falcon, leaflet that can be viewed/download below.

Recognising a NZ Falcon

The key points to look out for when confirming an identification/sighting of a NZ falcon or differentiating between a falcon and a harrier are;

Key NZ Falcon Australasian Harrier
Size Magpie size
½ size of a Harrier
Black-backed gull size
Description Dark and fast
Black above - buff barred and streaked below
Brown eyes
Long toes (talons)
Larger. Juvenile dark brown
Gets paler with age
Light rump, streaked light brown to pale/grey silver
Yellow eyes & long legs
Flight Characteristics Flies fast - rapid wing beat Slow flight often flap-glide-flap
Soaring Wings flat for short time Wings held in shallow ‘V' for lengthy periods
Hunting Very fast - stoops
Chases smaller birds
Searches slowly into wind
Quarters open country
Drops on prey
Typical Prey Small birds
Rarely eats carrion
Often eats carrion
Call Rapid, piercing
Generally silent
Plaintive Kee-a
Flight Silhouette


Taken from an original concept produced by Steve Lawrence, Raptor Association of NZ

Information on Observing NZ Falcon

To assist with both recognising and understanding more about the NZ Falcon a guide has been produced and can be downloaded in either Word or PDF format (see below). Providing information and photographs on topics such as distinguishing the male from female and the adult from the juvenile falcon plus more.

Information on Observing NZ Falcon (pdf)

Information on Observing NZ Falcon (Word)

Listen to a NZ falcon Call

To listen to the common call of the NZ falcon click here.