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Falco femoralis

Aplomado Falcon

  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Polytypic 3 Subspecies

Authors: Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González, and M. C. Arizmendi

Falco femoralis

Veracruz, MX; 12 October 2007 © Christopher L. Wood

The term aplomado is Spanish and means “lead colored” referring to the dark blue-gray of the back of this handsome falcon. Below it is strongly patterned with a full dark vest contrasting with a paler breast and belly. The belly and vent is cinnamon in all forms, but the breast is whitish in North America – Central America, and cinnamon farther south in South America. All forms show a highly contrasting face with a bold pale supercilium, often whitish in front and cinnamon at back, a dark face stripe and moustache and pale cheeks. The Aplomado is a slim falcon with a long and strongly banded tail. It is a falcon of savanna, and grassland adjacent to shrubbery, in the north of the range including grassland adjacent to desert scrub. This is an incredibly broadly distributed raptor in the New World, found from the Southwest of the United States south to Tierra del Fuego, although it is absent from moist tropical forest, it is not found in the Amazon Basin for example. In the far north of its range it had suffered historical population declines and there is an active and successful program to bring it back to the United States southwest.

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Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González, and M. C. Arizmendi. 2010. Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Complex Migrant
  • Primary Habitat:Southern temperate grassland
  • Foraging Strata:Aerial
  • Foraging Behavior:Flush-pursue
  • Diet:Birds
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern