“Epic Avian Showdown: Falcon’s Hunt Evolves into Battle Among Thousands of Birds”


When 2 raptors swoop in on the same bird, this falcon hunt turns into a fight amongst a flock of thousands of birds! This amazing scene played out in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park.

Lanner falcons are lethal birds of prey that fly fast and are famed for hunting birds on the wing. They also feed on mammals, reptiles, and insects but are better known for catching smaller birds. Found in predominantly open habitats – as depicted by these photos – their movements are usually limited locally.

Unlike some of the other falcon species, lanner falcons hunt from a horizontal pursuit and ambush their prey in flight. However, like all other raptors, they strategize their approach according to the presented opportunity.

62-Year-old dentist and wildlife enthusiast, Cornell Nortier and his wife were in the right place, at the right time, and shared this incredible moment with

“My wife and I were sitting at 13th Borehole watching thousands of red-billed quelea’s flying from a bush to the waterhole and back again. There were 2 lanner falcons in a tree nearby, waiting for the opportunity to make a meal out of the smaller birds.”


One falcon goes for the kill, and the other for the steal!
“One of the falcons went in for the kill and managed to hit one of the queleas mid-air, sending it plummeting to the ground. It then plunged to retrieve its meal, and the second falcon – who had been watching all the while – swooped in to try and steal its quarry! Both falcons were now on the ground, and a battle ensued.”

“I was in the right position to capture the interaction!”
“They fought on the ground for a while longer and then took off without the quelea! This was an exceptional sighting for me! My advice to others would be to wait patiently at waterholes because anything can happen at any time!”

“It was the first time in 15 Kgalagadi visits that I have seen anything like this!”

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