Aplomado Falcon

Name

Aplomado Falcon

Scientific Name

Falco femoralis

Characteristics

Aplomado is Spanish for lead-coloured and refers to the adult’s blue-black upperparts.

The Aplomado Falcon is an agile flier and takes a range of prey, using a variety of hunting techniques. At dawn, it generally hunts birds by dashing from a tree and chasing prey through the air. At dusk, the falcon catches airborne insects using their wings and also catch rodents and small reptiles from the ground.

This species is not migratory and spends the majority of the year on their territory. They will perch on fence posts or in trees when not hunting. Aplomado falcons defend their territory against intruders during nesting season. They will fly at any bird that poses a threat to their nest and young, often diving at the bird who is often much bigger than they are!

Aplomado falcons don’t build their own nests, instead they use old nests built by other birds. Sometimes, they evict the birds from active nests. They normally lay one to three eggs. Both the male and the female will incubate, or sit on, the eggs, though the female does the majority. The young chicks will hatch from the eggs after five weeks. Chicks grow at an impressive rate during the 40 day period from hatching to fledging. Chicks weigh around 28 grams when they emerge from their shells, yet they will be fully grown when they leave the nest.

Diet

Aplomado falcons are bird hunters, but they are good at hunting a variety of other animals including insects.

Size Fact

They grow up to 30 – 45 cm in length.

Food Fact

Aplomado falcons are one of the few birds of prey to hunt cooperatively.

Fun Fact

When threatened, they make a sharp cack cack cack sound!

IUCN Red list

They are classified as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List

Where do I live?

South America, as well as parts of central America. They live in dry grasslands, savannahs, and marshes.

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