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Temporal range: OligoceneHolocene, 30.2–0 Ma
Common kestrel
(Falco tinnunculus)
Scientific classification e
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Subfamily: Falconinae
Leach, 1820


Falconinae is a subfamily of falconid birds of prey that includes 44 species in three genera. It includes Microhierax (the typical falconets), Polihierax (the pygmy falcons), and Falco (the falcons). Molecular data since 2015 has found support in the grouping of these genera, with Polihierax being paraphyletic in respect to Falco.[1][2][3] Falconinae and their sister taxon, Polyborinae, split off from Herpetotherinae around 30.2 million years ago in the Oligocene epoch.[3] Falconines split off from the polyborines around 20 million years ago in the Miocene epoch.[1]


  1. ^ a b Fuchs, J.; Johnson, J. A.; Mindell, D. P. (2015). "Rapid diversification of falcons (Aves: Falconidae) due to expansion of open habitats in the Late Miocene". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 82: 166–182. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.08.010. PMID 25256056.
  2. ^ Wink, M. (2018). "Phylogeny of Falconidae and phylogeography of Peregrine Falcons". Ornis Hungarica. 26 (2): 27–37. doi:10.1515/orhu-2018-0013. S2CID 91204703.
  3. ^ a b Mindell, M. D.; Fuchs, J.; Johnson, J. A. (2018). "Phylogeny, Taxonomy, and Geographic Diversity of Diurnal Raptors: Falconiformes, Accipitriformes, and Cathartiformes". In Sarasola, J.; Grande, J.; Negro, J. (eds.). Birds of Prey: Biology and conservation in the XXI century. Springer, Chame. pp. 3–32. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-73745-4_1. ISBN 978-3-319-73745-4.

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