Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


Male and female Orange-breasted Falcons have a very loud and aggressive defense call, their most commonly heard vocalization in the wild. The call, a rapid-fire "key-key-key-key," lasts five to ten seconds and is repeated over and over until the threat subsides; it is similar to calls of Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) and Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii).

Near the eyrie, the male Orange-breasted Falcon may utter a "piping" call (a single sharp "chirp" or "kuck") that alerts the female of his arrival, such as when he brings food. He also calls with a variably repeated soft "chirp  ...  chirp, chirp, chirp" that appears to help stimulate the female into breeding condition. Further initiating courtship, the male softly chirps from the nest ledge while scraping, or forming the cup shaped depresion to contain the eggs. Afterward, the female may join him and softly chirp and scrape as well. The piping call is subtle and multidirectional, perhaps helping disguise the location of the nest.

Additional audio recordings of vocalizations of Orange-breasted Falcon can be heard at Macaulay Library and at xeno-canto.

Nonvocal Sounds

None reported.

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.