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Falco rufigularis

Bat Falcon

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

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

Falco rufigularis

Chapada dos Guimaraes, Brazil; 23 September 2006 © crijnfotin

The Bat Falcon is a widespread small falcon of forest and clearings in the Neotropics. It occurs from Mexico south to northwestern Peru and, east of the Andes, northern Argentina. It is dark slate gray above, with an obvious white throat, black-and-white barred breast, and orange lower belly and thighs.  Bat Falcons can be distinguished from the similar and sympatric (but much rarer) Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus) by their smaller size, more compact structure, narrower white barring on the lower breast, and more restricted orange on the upper breast. Bat Falcons generally hunt around dawn and dusk at forest edge or over the canopy, often along rivers or road cuts, or at the edges of small crop fields. As the name implies, they feed on bats, but also prey on birds and insects (mostly aerial). They nest in adopted cavities, on cliffs, or on man-made structures and defend their territory aggressively.

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Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: http://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/portal/species/overview?p_p_spp=133556

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:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Aerial
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Birds
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern