Bat Falcon

Bat Falcon

Kingdom
Phylum
Class
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Falco rufigularis
Population size
500,000-5 M
Life Span
12-18 yrs
WEIGHT
110-240 g
LENGTH
23-30.5 cm
WINGSPAN
56-67 cm

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.

Distribution

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.

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

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".

Group name
Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

Bat falcons breed are carnivores and hunt bats, birds, and large insects such as dragonflies moths and grasshoppers. They may also eat lizards and mice occasionally.

Mating Habits

MATING BEHAVIOR
REPRODUCTION SEASON
varies with location
INCUBATION PERIOD
4-7 weeks
INDEPENDENT AGE
35-40 days
FEMALE NAME
falcon
MALE NAME
tiercel
BABY NAME
eyas, eyass
BABY CARRYING
2-3 eggs

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.

Population

Population threats

Bat falcons are not threatened globally but in Mexico and Central America, these small birds of prey suffer from habitat loss and deforestation.

Population number

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.

Fun Facts for Kids

  • Bat falcons have a pattern on their head that resembles a hood; this pattern helps to protect their eyes from the sun lights.
  • The wings of the Bat falcon are long and pointed; due to this the bird has a very swift flight that helps to catch bats and fast-flying birds in the air.
  • Bat falcons have a "tooth" on their bill that is very helpful during feeding; with the help of this "tooth" the falcon quickly cuts the neck vertebrae of their prey.
  • When hunting bats, their main prey, Bat falcons figure out where the bats are roosting and perch near the entrances; they may wait for hours patiently when bats come out on the hunt themselves or when they come back to their homes.

References

1. Bat Falcon on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bat_falcon
2. Bat Falcon on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22696457/93564082

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