Pied Falconet

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Image:Pied Falconet.JPG

Common Name: Pied Falconet
Scientific Name: Microhierax melanoleucos

Size: 7-7.8 inches (18-20 cm); Wingspan: 13.7-14.5 inches (35-37 cm)

Habitat: Asia; Northeast India to South China and Central Vietnam. The Pied Falconet is found in the forests of the Assam region of India and South-eastern China, Laos and surrounding areas.

Its natural habitat is deep deciduous and evergreen forest. It prefers areas with some clearings at altitudes of between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. Old cultivation, tea gardens and stream banks are its favored spots, where it can be seen perched in the tops of trees, making occasional forays hunting flying insects. It is often seen in pairs, or in family groups of up to five.

Status: Least Concern. Global population: 1,000-10,000 individuals. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

Diet: Mostly insects, but also on small birds to the size of a thrush, and small ground mammals and reptiles. Insects and birds are taken in flight. Prey is seized either from the ground or in flight.

Nesting: Females are noticeably larger than males. The upper portions and sides are mostly glossy black. Some individuals have a thin white line across the base of the cere, over the eyes and down to the breast giving the appearance of a white face with large black eye patches. There are also some white spots on the inner wing and narrow white bars on the inner part of the tail. Below it is white, with some black mottling on the breast. The eyes are bright brown, the cere and feet black to brownish black.

It breeds in abandoned holes in dead trees, usually at a height of 100 feet or more which is inaccessible to most egg prediators. The holes are used for more than one year, and are usually full of insect remains. Three or four white eggs are laid in early March. The young generally fledge in mid-May.

Cool Facts: Members of the genus Microhierax are the smallest of falcons.

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

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