White-rumped Pygmy-falcon

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Image:White-rumped pygmy-falcon.JPG

Common Name: White-rumped Pygmy-falcon
Scientific Name: Polihierax insignis

Size: 9-11 inches (23-28 cm); Wingspan: 16.5-19.2 inches (42-49 cm)

Habitat: Asia; found in Myanmar (previously widespread and locally abundant; it now appears scarce or uncommon, although the large quantity of suitable habitat remaining suggests that healthy populations may survive), Thailand (distributed through north, north-east and western provinces south to Ratchaburi, once widespread and fairly common but now scarce throughout after an apparent decline due to clearance of open deciduous forest habitat), Laos (historically very common and locally widespread in the south, but now apparently local and scarce), Cambodia (fairly widespread, chiefly in north, with large areas of suitable habitat remaining) and Vietnam (previously very common locally in south, now scarce; only present in any numbers in Dak Lak province). Populations in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are potentially large, but little data is available due to a lack of fieldwork in suitable habitat.

It is resident in wooded grasslands and open forest, chiefly deciduous dipterocarp and mixed deciduous forest of the plains and foothills up to 915 m, where it uses holes in trees for nesting and roosting.

Status: Near Threatened. Global population: 10,000-19,999 individuals with a decreasing population trend. Although dry dipterocarp forest has generally suffered less degradation than evergreen forest in many areas, it is increasingly cleared and disturbed, through wood collection and burning. Given the high levels of hunting in much of its range, and the ease with which this species is shot, persecution presumably poses an additional threat.

Diet: Mainly lizards, which are often captured on tree trunks and foliage. Insects, small birds and mice are also prey when available.

Nesting: Females are noticeably larger than males. Large slate grey-and-white with a conspicuous white rump and uppertail-coverts. The sexes are quite different in color; the females have bright chestnut on the head and/or back while the male has a grey streaked head and back. Their wings are rather short, but quite pointed; the tail rounded to strongly graduated.

Breeds February through April. This falcon is a cavity nester, often using old woodpecker nests. 1-2 unmarked white eggs are laid. The female incubated during the day, and both the male and female roosted in the nest hole at night.

Cool Facts: Members of the Polihierax genus are all small to very small falcons.


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

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