Bat falcons are small but widespread birds of prey in Mexico, Central, and South America. Adults have a black back, head, and tail. Their throat, upper breast, and neck sides are creamy white, the lower breast and belly are black, finely barred white, and the thighs and lower belly are orange. Young birds are similar in color, but with a buffy throat. Females in this species are much larger than males.
Bat falcons breed in tropical Mexico, Central and South America, and Trinidad. These small birds inhabit open woodlands, moist forests, dry forests, and savannah. They are often found in forest edge, along riverbanks and streams.
Bat falcons are generally solitary birds and outside of the breeding season spend time singly. They perch conspicuously on high, open snags, from which they launch aerial attacks on their prey. Their flight is direct and powerful. Bat falcons are mainly crepuscular and hunt by dusk and down. When hunting they may catch their prey on the wing, or on the ground. Bat falcons communicate with each other visually and vocally; their main call is a high pitched "ke-ke-ke".
Bat falcons are monogamous; both males and females mate with only one partner. The start of the breeding season varies with location and during this time pairs become very aggressive defend strongly their nest from predators. The female lays two or three brown eggs usually in an unlined tree hole nest. The incubation period lasts around 4 to 7 weeks. Chicks are hatched naked and with closed eyes; they fledge at 35-40 days after hatching and are able to eat the prey on their own.
Bat falcons are not threatened globally but in Mexico and Central America, these small birds of prey suffer from habitat loss and deforestation.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Bat falcon population size is around 500,000-4,999,999 individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today are decreasing.