The lanner falcons (Falco biarmicus) has always been viewed as an "oddity", and even the name has a contorted history, with both common and scientific names being subject to debate. Its very existence as a separate Species has also been called into question and even today, as has been the case in the past, much has been written with regard to the identification of the species, its elusive behaviour, and its relationship with its main competitor, the Peregrine falcon.
Although a first edition of this book was written in 1992, and a subsequent full review written in 2001, the author realized that many aspects of the biology of this falcon still remain virtually unknown. Even today this remains the biggest challenge for future research. Nevertheless, there is an enormous amount of information scattered across a myriad of publications which can add a great deal to our current knowledge of the species.
The author therefore decided to collect together all of the available information in the hope of creating an overview of all that is currently known about the Lanner falcon. In compiling this information he has also referred to numerous sources originally published in the nineteenth century, as well those published more recentiy in the twentieth century. This has proven to be very helpful in understanding many of the anomalies that have been inherited from the past, many of which remain with us today.
For these reasons, this monograph is not simply review of Lanner falcon biology from the many studies that have been published. It is also an attempt to create a new overview of the species that can hopefully serve as a starting point for future research.With this book, at last, everything that is known about the Lanner falcon has been assembled in one place. The ten chapters cover the History, taxonomy and genetics; Structure and functions; Distribution and population estimates; Territory and breeding densities; Breeding seasons; Diet and hunting techniques; Movements; Conservation; and finally, a landscape-scale approach to the habitat associations of tiie members of the large-falcon (or Hierofalco) complex. The coverage ranges back in time to prehistoric fossils that occur outside the presentiy known range of the species, and forward to the possible options and plans for conservation of the species into the future. In between, in information-packed chapters, images and diagrams, every known detail about the species is presented in as much detail as space allows, supported by as many extracts of published and personal communications as the author could discover. The bibliography alone will make this compendium a standard reference for decades to come.
01 - History, taxonomy and genetics
02 - Structure and functions
03 - Distribution and population estimates
04 - Territory and breeding densities
05 - Breeding season
06 - Breeding strategies
07 - Diet and hunting techniques
08 - Movements
09 – Conservation
10 - Habitat association in the Hierofalco complex: a landscape-scale approach
"[...] This privately-published book is mainly a compilation of information available in a widely scattered literature, rather than a detailed local study, but the author has done a good job of pulling together this information, devotedly over a period of more than 25 years. The book is nicely produced and the colour photographs are carefully chosen and well reproduced on glossy paper. However, the black-and-white photographs are printed on the ordinary text pages and have reproduced less well. Maps and diagrams are well drawn and clear. Any raptor enthusiast will find something new and interesting in this volume."
– I. Newton, Ibis (158), 2016
"[...] This is a well-researched and authoritative monograph, setting a high standard. My only criticism, and it is a minor one given that the author is not writing in his first language, is that the English used sometimes fails to portray what I think the author intends. Having always seen the Lanner as a poor relation to the more impressive Peregrine and Gyrfalcon, I think that Leonardi has shifted my view. This is an interesting falcon, occupying a not insignificant geographic area and range of habitats."
– Mike Toms, BTO book reviews