The Aplomado falcon, (Falco femoralis septentrionalis), also known as Falco fusco-coerulescens, Falco fuscocaerulescens, or bat falcon, is a species of bird belonging to the raptor class of birds and the genus Falco, which are commonly known as raptors and are birds of prey. Distinguished by their long, pointed wings that are built for speedy aerial maneuvers, their beaks are hooked with a tooth-like notch at the end of their upper bill.
They have long wings and a powerful beak and can fly at high speeds and change direction rapidly due to their powerful wings which are thin and pointed.
Aplomado falcons are known for their hunting skills as they catch prey mid-air and an Aplomado Falcon hovering over their prey is only bad news for the prey!
Even though the population of these birds is stable and at a growing rate in Central and South American regions, they are listed as an endangered species in North America due to acres of lands being deforested to increase human habitats and changing their once natural preying zones from desert lands to lands full of shrubs and dense vegetation that makes it difficult for them to hunt. Their population only worsened due to them inhaling or ingesting harmful pesticides that have caused their eggshells to thin and cause premature death of the young.
South Texas, Southeastern Arizona, Southwestern United States, New Mexico, South America, Northern Mexico
Falco femoralis septentrionalis
Aplomado Falcon Interesting Facts
What type of animal is an Aplomado Falcon?
The Aplomado falcon is a medium-sized falcon. They are long-tailed and long-winged in nature and often catch birds and insects while flying in the midair. These falcons are common in the North American wildlife regions, even though they are rare and found in a low population in these parts.
What class of animal does an Aplomado Falcon belong to?
The Aplomado falcon (falco femoralis), a species of North American birds, belongs to the Aves Class of the Animalia Kingdom.
Aves class consists mostly of birds. Birds are vertebrates that have feathers and can fly or be flightless. Forelimbs in this class have been modified as wings for flight and they lack teeth in their mouth.
How many Aplomado Falcons are there in the world?
Aplomado Falcons are a rare sight in the United States because of their low breeding population but can be found in their Central and South American, Northern Mexico, and other Aplomado Falcon habitats in abundance. There are an estimated 500,000 of these individuals in the healthy breeding population. Aplomado falcons have gone through intensive breeding and gradual reintroduction and distribution into a new Aplomado falcon habitat in and around North American regions like Southern Texas and New Mexico.
Where does an Aplomado Falcon live?
Aplomado falcons have no fixed habitat but they usually prefer grassland type of habitat range. They can also be found in a desert-based habitat range. Coastal prairies of Texas, New Mexico, and Southeastern Arizona also fall under the range of habitats for Aplomado falcons in the wild.
What is an Aplomado Falcon's habitat?
Aplomado falcons prefer open areas like grasslands or savannas that are full of prey and are a good breeding habitat for them. They hunt for food like fish, and a nesting place near mountainous and swamp areas, and these birds can be found scattered around in these habitat ranges.
Who do Aplomado Falcons live with?
There is not much data that can evidently tell us if these birds are solitary in nature in the wildlife. But due to found data on the Aplomado falcon group hunting habit, it can be said that they like to hunt for prey in a pair or groups and flush out prey animals.
Aplomado falcons will hunt together as pairs or in family groups, working together to pursue or flush out their prey in open grassland habitats in the wild.
How long does an Aplomado Falcon live?
Aplomado falcons have a lifespan of around 12 years in the wild. They can live up to 20 years in captivity under proper conservation effort and protection from threats. An Aplomado Falcon was recorded to live for around nine years, making it the oldest one on record.
How do they reproduce?
These species of birds usually mate for life during their breeding period but in case one of the mates dies, a replacement is found right away for the care and protection of the young. These birds become sexually mature when they are one to three years of age.
Alpomado Falcon females normally lay one to three eggs and the Aplomado falcon egg's incubation period that lasts 31-33 days or so. After the eggs hatch, the male will bring hunt and bring food for the Aplomado Falcon mother, and both parents will provide care for the young ones.
What is their conservation status?
As of now, Aplomado falcons are listed by the IUCN as a species of Least Concern status. However, the northern Aplomado falcon range is listed as Endangered by the U.S Federal Endangered species list due to a gradual loss of habitat.
Aplomado falcon conservation and management programs are run throughout the United States and they are given proper care and a good breeding system before their reintroduction into the desert and grassland wildlife.
Aplomado Falcon Fun Facts
What do Aplomado Falcons look like?
Aplomado falcons are slender in nature and long-tailed and long-winged birds. The upper parts of the adults have a dark blue-gray shade. The upper breast and the throat are white in color and black patches can be found on each side of their lower breast that meets at the middle. The belly and thighs of these birds have a light shade of cinnamon color. They have a long tail which they use to balance their body. This tail is usually long just like their wings.
How cute are they?
The amazing color patch on the faces of these birds makes them cute to the core! Their medium size along with the Aplomado falcon call makes it difficult to your eyes off these birds!
How do they communicate?
Aplomado falcon communicates mainly using a vocal range of cues. They make rapid 'kak-kak' sounds along with 'keeh-keeh' or 'ee-ee' sounds. They use these sounds to warn others of predators or when they find food sources or prey in their wildlife range. These birds are territorial in nature and when an Aplomado falcon territory is trespassed by a predator, they will make loud noises to deter the trespasser and try to scare them off.
How big is an Aplomado Falcon?
Aplomado falcons are 12-16 in (30.4-40.6 cm) tall and have an average wingspan of 36 in (91.4 cm)! Like all other birds of prey, the females are larger than the males and have a larger wingspan and size.
How fast can an Aplomado Falcon fly?
The exact speed of the Aplomado falcon in flight is not known to the accurate count due to which it is hard to tell how fast they can fly. It is, however, known that Aplomado Falcons in flight can be fast! They use their amazing speed to chase prey and soar through their desert and grassland habitats.
How much does an Aplomado Falcon weigh?
The weight of Aplomado falcons differs from males to females as females are larger the males and in turn, are much heavier. Males weigh anywhere in between 7.3-10.8 oz (206.9-306.2 g) and females are 9.6-16 oz (272.2-453.6 g) in weight.
What are the male and female names of their species?
There is no specific name assigned to either sex of these birds.
What would you call a baby Aplomado Falcon?
Aplomado falcon hatchlings are called eyasses. These young birds are taken care of by the parent pair, with the female caring for them in the nest and the male Aplomado Falcon bringing food for the young.
Hatchlings are born with their eyes closed. Juveniles are similar in looks to adults. Differentiation can be done through their blackish-brown body with a patch of white on the head and the cinnamon underpart being paler.
What do they eat?
Aplomado falcons feed on large invertebrates and smaller vertebrates with smaller birds making an overwhelming part of the Aplomado falcon diet. They hunt insects and are often seen at burning fields where many of these birds gather around. They hunt in pairs or even groups when there is an abundance of food sources or when a larger animal is the prey. Aplomado females are larger in nature and due to this, they are able to attack bigger animals like cattle egrets.
Are they dangerous?
No. These birds are not dangerous to humans. They are, however, amazing hunters and are dangerous to their prey in their population range!
Would they make a good pet?
Since these birds are listed as endangered in parts of North America like Southern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona it is illegal to keep these species of birds as pets! They are protected by U.S laws and owning one of these birds will only cause you problems! They are used in falconry by hunters where they used them to hunts smaller animals. However, if you want to get a close look at this bird, then you can visit centers where these endangered birds are raised and given a nesting place before their eventual reintroduction into the wildlife to increase their population distribution in North America.
Did you know...
Their name comes from the Spanish word 'Aplomado' which translates to 'lead-colored' which referred to the blue-gray feathers of these birds. Their Brazilian name is 'falcão-de-coleira' as these birds can be found in regions of South America too!
The last known nesting place of the northern Aplomado falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis) in the United States occurred in Luna County, New Mexico in 1952. This species has been irregularly sighted in a small population in southern Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona since then in parts of North America.
The Endangered Aplomado falcon is kept under intense protection and care by the Wildlife Federation of North America to make their population stable as these Falcons are rare in nature in the wild population.
Aplomado falcons are not picky eaters! They are known to eat several species!
They have a sharp tooth at the end of their beaks which they use to sever the necks of their prey. They prey on animals like bats, insects, and smaller birds.
There are 37 species of Falcon and their population is large. 6 species of Falcons that are found in North America are Aplomado falcon, prairie falcon, American kestrel, merlin, peregrine falcon, and gyrfalcon.
Peregrine falcons can be differentiated due to their color pattern as the peregrine falcons do not have the rusty lower belly or breast bands that Aplomado falcons have.
American kestrels can be differentiated from Aplomado falcons due to them being smaller in size and showing signs of black spots or dots on their back that the Aplomado lacks.
The Aplomado falcon was added to the American Birding Association in 1995 and since then this bird has been a focus of conservation efforts in an effort to increase its population in areas like Southern Texas and New Mexico.
Aplomado falcon falconry is used by humans as they train these birds and use them to hunt animals in their natural habitat.
Do Aplomado Falcons build nests?
No. Since these birds do not make their own nest, they use the abandoned nests of other raptors, ravens, crows, and magpies, and in some cases, they will even go as far as fighting and evicting the birds from their active nest near their desert or grassland habitat and will lay their eggs in these nests.
How do Aplomado Falcons feed?
These species of birds are known to do something special when they catch prey! When they catch prey like fish or smaller vertebrates, they will toss them to the other falcon flying near them in mid-air before the female or male takes the food to the nesting place!
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