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Laughing Falcon Herpetotheres cachinnans

  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Ben Barkley

Laughing Falcon is found in a variety of forested habitats from northern Mexico south to Paraguay. It can be found in cerrado, dry forests, gallery forest and lowland rainforest, but is most common along forest edges, and can be very rare in stretches of undisturbed forest in Amazonia. Laughing Falcon’s habitat preference is almost certainly related to its diet, which is largely restricted to snakes: snakes often visit forest edges to sunbathe. Laughing Falcon is named for its long series of yelps given at dawn and dusk, and a single series of which may last for up to five minutes. Though it is heard more often than it is seen, Laughing Falcon's plumage is very distinctive with a black face mask and collar contrasting with a buffy white head, neck and underparts and brown back.

Song duet

© David L. Ross, Jr.

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

Recommended Citation

Barkley, B. (2014). Laughing Falcon (Herpetotheres cachinnans), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.