Bat Falcon

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Image:BatFalcon.JPG

Common Name: Bat Falcon
Scientific Name: Falco rufigularis

Size: 9-12 inches (23-30.5 cm); Wingspan: 17.7-24 inches (45-61 cm)

Habitat: The Americas; It occurs from Mexico south to northwestern Peru and, east of the Andes, northern Argentina.

The Bat Falcon is a widespread small falcon of forest and clearings in the Neotropics. They perch conspicuously on high open snags, from which they launch aerial attacks on their prey.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: 500,000-5,000,000 individuals. The population is declining owing to habitat loss and degradation.

Diet: Bats, small birds and large insects such as dragonflies.

They generally hunt around dawn and dusk at forest edge or over the canopy, often along rivers or road cuts, or at the edges of small crop fields.

Nesting: Females are noticeably larger than males. Their heads and backs are dark slate gray, with an obvious white throat, black-and-white barred breast, and orange lower belly and thighs. The cere, eye-ring and feet are yellow to yellow-orange.

In Mexico, the courtship begins in February and March and eggs are laid in April. It nests in natural tree cavities, holes dug by parrots, old nests of trogons on termite colonies, cliffs, nests have been observed even in pre-Hispanic ruins and human construct. Nests are unlined.

It lays 2–3 brown eggs. During incubation, the couple is constantly vocalizing and is very territorial around the nest, even chasing other raptors up to 1 km away from the nest. The male is the one who brings virtually all the food to the nest.

Cool Facts: Sexual dimorphism affects hunting choices; the smaller male hunts mostly insects while the much larger female, mostly birds and bats. This difference in hunting choices allows more diversity in diet and lessens the risks in the pair overhunting their territory.


This 3D model is found in Songbird Remix Birds of Prey Volume I: Kestrels, Hobbies and Falcons

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