Collared forest falcon and barred forest falcon are two infamous species of forest birds native to both the American continents. A collared forest falcon is a dark, tawny bird with dark brown-black plumage covering its back and head and white plumage covering the neck and breast region. Even though a forest falcon is a raptor, a predator, it is a very shy bird and prefers avoiding attention. Besides, forest falcons are very good at camouflaging in their habitat. So it isn't easy to spot them, even in the daylight. Some of the most well-known forest falcon subspecies are plumbeous forest falcon (Micrastur plumbeus), cryptic forest falcon (Micrastur mintoni), barred forest falcon (Micrastur ruficollis), and collared forest falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus).
Here are some of the most interesting facts about the forest falcon for your perusal. Afterward, do have a look at our other articles on the grey falcon and laughing falcon as well.
What do they prey on?
Insects, lizards, small birds, and small mammals
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
Male: 1.3 lb (0.58 kg) Female: 1.92 lb (0.87 kg)
How long are they?
18-23 in (45.7-58.4 cm)
How tall are they?
28-34 in (71.1-86.3 cm)
What do they look like?
Brown color morphs with long rounded tail and legs
What are their main threats?
Habitat loss, climate change
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Tropical and subtropical forests
Central America and South America, Tikal National Park
Micrastur semitorquatus Micrastur Mintoni
Forest Falcon Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a forest falcon?
Forest falcons are birds endemic to America. These raptors are like Accipiter-type hawks and are medium to large-sized species of birds. These New World falcons are very similar to the Cryptic forest falcons.
What class of animal does a forest falcon belong to?
Micrastur semitorquatus is a bird whose common name is a collared forest falcon. All forest falcons belong to class Aves in phylum Chordata and kingdom Animalia. Further, forest falcon belongs to the family Falconidae.
How many forest falcons are there in the world?
There are a good number of falcon birds present in the natural habitat in North America and South America. Around 140,000 falcons are estimated to breed across the globe. This total population count is made by a total of 60 species of these birds. But the separate count of many of these species of falcons is not known, including that of the Micrastur semitorquatus and Micrastur mintoni.
Where does a forest falcon live?
The genus Micrastur of the family Falconidae is endemic to Central America and certain parts of the United States. This bird dwells mostly in the tropical rain forests and hides in the dense canopy of these forests. Even though these birds are diurnal in nature, forest falcons are very secretive. These predators are mostly spotted by their distinct calls.
What is a forest falcon's habitat?
Cryptic forest falcon (Micrastur mintoni) can be very secretive by nature, but this species is spotted in a wide range of habitats. In Central America and the United States, these falcons are found in a large number of habitats such as grasslands, deserts, arctic tundra, and many other types of forests. Forest falcons (genus Micrastur) are predators by nature and can be spotted predating on small-sized aquatic animals along the coastal regions and any other large water body.
Who do forest falcons live with?
The forest falcon, just like any other falcon, is understood to be a solitary bird from the genus Micrastur. Its mother falcon may be spotted with her nestlings in their nests, and mates can be spotted in pairs during the breeding season. But other than that, these birds are never spotted in groups. Forest falcons are either seen flying alone or camouflaging in the campy of the forests.
How long does a forest falcon live?
The mortality rate noted for Falcons is around 60%. 6 out of 10 hatchlings die within a year from their birth. In the wild, their longevity is recorded to be somewhere between 10 - 15 years. While in captivity, this species might survive a little longer if all the conditions for survival are met.
How do they reproduce?
These tawny and dark creatures usually breed in the spring and summer seasons. The male and the female falcon bird pair up during the breeding season. After courtship display, they mate in the nests they acquire, and the female falcon bird lays around two eggs in one clutch. The hatchlings come out after a month and stay in the nests with the female forest falcon bird till it has grown enough fledge on its own.
What is their conservation status?
Their population is considered to be stable for now, and this species is placed in the Least Concern category of species. However, increasing industrial activities have imposed a great threat to their survival. The current reports show that around a 32% decrease in the adult population of falcon birds is seen globally.
Forest Falcon Fun Facts
What do forest falcons look like?
With evolution, three morphological variants of forest falcon birds are seen today; tawny, dark, and pale. They have a long tail and short wings. A curved beak and lack of teeth show their morphological connections to the Falconidae family of birds. The nestlings are very different in comparison to the adult birds. They have a characteristic yellow plumage, pale legs, and a yellow beak. After six weeks from their birth, the nestlings lose their down feathers turning into fledglings, and grow juvenile plumage on their wings and their tails.
How cute are they?
Nestlings and hatchlings are really cute. But the opinion may vary for adult birds. Not everyone may like the adult birds since these are raptors and are usually portrayed as a symbol of fierceness. Many ornithologists find them cute, but some have a varied opinion.
How do they communicate?
Just like many birds, forest falcons are also known to have distinct calls. Apparently, their presence is noted by their calls. Vocalizations in them include food calls, alarm calls, individuals calling and communicating with one another, calls during fights and during mating are all distinctly noted.
How big is a forest falcon?
These birds are medium to large-sized raptors. Males are visually larger in size than female forest falcon birds. The average size of collared forest falcon and barred forest falcon may range between 18-23 in (45.7-58.4 cm), and their wingspan may measure around 28-34 in (71.1-86.3 cm) in length.
How fast can a forest falcon fly?
Falcon birds are infamous for their dives. Birds of this species are fast and fierce and catch their prey in the blink of an eye. The average speed of a forest falcon bird is noted to be around 200 mph (320 kph). This speed is mostly achieved during high-speed dives. The fastest falcon is considered to be the peregrine falcon, which can go at up to 242 mph (390 kph).
How much does a forest falcon weigh?
Quite interestingly, female forest falcon birds are larger and much heavier than the male falcon bird. An average male forest falcon may weigh around 1.3 lb (0.58 kg) in weight. In comparison, a female forest falcon bird may weigh around 1.92 lb (0.87 kg) in weight. Female forest falcons can be 10 times heavier than a pygmy falcon.
What are the male and female names of the species?
A male forest falcon is called a tercel, and a female forest falcon is referred to as a female forest falcon itself.
What would you call a baby forest falcon?
A baby forest falcon is called an eyas. But the chicks that just hatched out of eggs are referred to as hatchlings or nestlings, and when they start fledgling on their own, they are referred to as fledglings. It takes around six weeks for the baby falcons to fledge from their nests.
What do they eat?
Interestingly their diet is quite extensive. This species may feed on small birds, insects, lizards, reptiles, and many other small-sized animals. Predators of falcons may include eagles, owls and wolves, especially for hatchlings.
Are they dangerous?
These species are generally harmless. But one should avoid being in their vicinity since they might cause harm if they sense any threat.
Would they make a good pet?
Elite people have the practice of keeping these bird species as pets. But it is not a common practice, and also it is not advisable to keep them in a domesticated environment since they are instinctive predators and may have difficulty adapting to captivity.
Did you know...
Even though all the birds have aerodynamically designed body structures, a forest falcon bird's body is designed in such a way that it can make speedy dives with ease. Their cardiovascular and respiratory system is designed in such a way that it enables these birds to beat their wings around four times in a second without getting fatigued.
Different types of forest falcon
The different types of forest falcon birds are plumbeous forest falcon (Micrastur plumbeus), cryptic forest falcon (Micrastur mintoni), barred forest falcon (Micrastur ruficollis), lined forest falcon, and collared forest falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus).
The forest falcon's wings
The forest falcon has comparatively shorter wings. These raptors are very famous for performing dives at a very high speed in which they fully extend their wings.
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