A specialist in hunting other bird species, the red-necked falcon primarily preys on small birds, such as larks and sparrows, but will occasionally take larger prey, such as pigeons and waterbirds. Hunting from a sheltered perch at the edge of woodland, the red-necked falcon targets its prey using acute eyesight, before exhausting the target in an acrobatic aerial pursuit. In flight, the red-necked falcon uses rapid wing beats without undulations, soaring infrequently, and unlike other small, kestrel-like falcons, rarely hovers. The red-necked falcon often hunts in pairs, and can be observed forming an unlikely partnership with the gabar goshawk (Micronisus gabar), often in heavily wooded areas, with the falcons hunting in the open and goshawks in denser cover, and resulting quarry shared (4). Occasionally the red-necked falcon will pirate prey from other raptors or birds of prey (7).
Red-necked falcon pairs are monogamous, and eggs are normally laid in the dry season (2) (8). Like other falco species, the old nests of other raptors or crows in thorny trees are reused (2). Between two and five eggs are incubated, by the female, for a period of 32 to 35 days, with offspring fledging 35 to 40 days later and becoming fully independent after a further two to three weeks (2) (9) (10). The incubation and nesting period of the red-necked falcon is around two weeks longer than that of similar falcons (10).