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Bat Falcon Falco rufigularis

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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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© Curtis A Marantz

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/batfal1