Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus

  • Order: Falconiformes
  • Family: Falconidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Robert Berry, Christopher L. Wood, and Brian L. Sullivan


The nest of Orange-breasted Falcon is a simple scrape or depression on a grassy ledge or pothole in a high precipitous cliff face; rarely the nest is placed in the detris in the crotch of an emergent tree (e.g., Ceiba or mahogany Swietenia) (Berry et al. 2010). There is one record of attempted nesting in a tall palm (Baker et al. 2010), and another on a temple ledge at Tikal National Park, both in Guatemala.

The eggs are subelliptical in shape and variable in color. They are very similar to the eggs of Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus): buffy white to brown, with a wash of darker speckles or spots of brown, reddish brown, or lilac. The color sometimes is concentrated at the large end of the egg, especially when laid by an older female. The eggs are relatively large for a medium sized falcon, averaging from 39 to 45 grams (roughly the size of a large bantam chicken egg) and equal in size to the eggs of most Peregrine Falcons. Average measurements are 49.9 x 38.96 mm (1.96 x 1.53 in).

The clutch ranges in size from two to four eggs, but almost always is three. A captive female was unable to brood a four-egg clutch. A replacement clutch typically is laid if the eggs or nestlings of the first clutch are lost to predation (Berry et al. 2010).

Orange-breasted Falcons take thirty-four days to hatch. Most incubation by is performed by the female. The male may incubate when the female is off the nest.

The chicks grow rapidly, fed mostly by the female. The young fledge in about 45 days after hatching. Feathers reach maximum growth at about 75 days. Time to independence and subsequent dispersal patterns are unknown.

Recommended Citation

Berry, R., C. L. Wood, and B. L. Sullivan (2009). Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.