Orange-breasted falcon

Orange-breasted falcon

Orange-breasted falcon

Falco deiroleucus

The Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus ) is a bird of the falcon family. It is probably closely related to and looks like a larger version of the bat falcon, with whom it can be easily mistaken. These two, in turn, are probably closest to the aplomado falcon and constitute a rather old American lineage of Falco.

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Its historical range went from southern Mexico to northern Argentina, although now it seems to have disappeared from all of Central America except Panama, Belize and Guatemala. Recent studies suggest that the Central American population in Belize and Guatemala is isolated from the one in Panama and South America. It is unclear why this population is decreasing and it is suggested that nest predation by other species like toucans or black vultures might play a role. While looking for evidence of nest predation, scientists placed several remote cameras in different nests and were able to document a vampire bat parasitizing an incubating female. It is a medium-sized falcon at 35–40 cm (14–15.5 in) long and a weight of 325–700 grams (11 ounces – 1 pound 9 ounces). It is a bird predator, with strong talons that enable it to catch prey in flight, and is considered by some – such as the German-Brazilian ornithologist Helmut Sick – as filling the ecological niche of the peregrine falcon as a breeding species in tropical America. The orange-breasted falcon, however, seems to favor more heavily wooded habitats than the peregrine, therefore the species does not seem to be in ecological competition with peregrine falcons wintering or breeding in South America. Living in the predominantly tropical climates of Guatemala and Belize, these birds use the humidity of their niche to their advantage. The orange-breasted falcon purposely crashed into leaves of trees with water gathered on them as a form of bathing. The orange-breasted falcon has a similar plumage to the much smaller bat falcon and is generally considered most closely related to that species now.

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Orange-breasted falcon habitat map
Orange-breasted falcon
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Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition



1. Orange-breasted falcon Wikipedia article -
2. Orange-breasted falcon on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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