Structure of Laggar Falcon
Laggar Falcon resembles the lanner falcon but is darker overall, and has blackish "trousers" (tibiotarsus feathers). Fledglings have an almost entirely dark underside, and first-year sub-adult birds still retain much dark on the belly. This species belongs to a close-knit complex of falcons known as hierofalcons. In this group, there is ample evidence for rampant hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting which confounds analyses of DNA sequence data to a massive extent; molecular studies with small sample sizes can simply not be expected to yield reliable conclusions in the entire hierofalcon group. The radiation of the entire living diversity of hierofalcons seems to have taken place in the Eemian interglacial at the start of the Late Pleistocene, a mere 130,000 to 115,000 years ago; Laggar falcon represents a lineage that arrived at its present range out of eastern Africa by way of the Arabian Peninsula which during that time had a more humid climate than today.
Decline of Laggar Falcon
Laggar Falcons are used to be the most common falcons in the region, but numbers have declined markedly in recent times and today it is probably nowhere a common species anymore. The main threats are the intensification of pesticide use in the region and use as a decoy to trap large falcons.