Nature conservation

Threatened species

Grey Falcon - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Falco hypoleucos
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Gazetted date: 25 Nov 2022
Profile last updated: 25 Nov 2022


The Grey Falcon is a medium-sized, compact, pale falcon with a heavy, thick-set, deep-chested appearance. It is smaller than the Peregrine Falcon but similar in shape and flight, although with longer wings. Upperparts are uniform light grey, shading to blackish on the primaries, forming conspicuous dark wing tips. The tail has narrow blackish bars. The chin, throat and cheeks are white, and the rest of the underbody is pale grey. The eye-ring, cere and base of the bill are bright orange-yellow, and the tip of the bill black.


The Grey Falcon is sparsely distributed in NSW, chiefly throughout the Murray-Darling Basin, with the occasional vagrant east of the Great Dividing Range. The breeding range has contracted since the 1950s with most breeding now confined to arid parts of the range. There are possibly less than 5000 individuals left. Population trends are unclear, though it is believed to be extinct in areas with more than 500mm rainfall in NSW.

Habitat and ecology

  • Usually restricted to shrubland, grassland and wooded watercourses of arid and semi-arid regions, although it is occasionally found in open woodlands near the coast.
  • Also occurs near wetlands where surface water attracts prey.
  • Preys primarily on birds, especially parrots and pigeons, using high-speed chases and stoops; reptiles and mammals are also taken.
  • Like other falcons it utilises old nests of other birds of prey and ravens, usually high in a living eucalypt near water or a watercourse; peak laying season is in late winter and early spring; two or three eggs are laid.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthMoonie-Barwon Interfluve Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNarrandool Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Outwash Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Predicted None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Known None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Predicted None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Known None
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainBoorindal Plains Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Known None
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCulgoa-Bokhara Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsGreat Darling Anabranch Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsLouth Plains Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsPooncarie-Darling Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsWarrambool-Moonie Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsWilcannia Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Known None
Mulga LandsKerribree Basin Predicted None
Mulga LandsNebine Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsParoo Overflow Known None
Mulga LandsParoo-Darling Sands Predicted None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Predicted None
Mulga LandsWarrego Plains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Predicted None
Mulga LandsWest Warrego Predicted None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
RiverinaLachlan Known None
RiverinaMurray Fans Predicted None
RiverinaMurray Scroll Belt Predicted None
RiverinaMurrumbidgee Known None
RiverinaRobinvale Plains Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None