Bat falcon

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Bat falcon
OFalco rufigularis Bat Falcon.jpg
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes
Family: Falconidae
Genus: Falco
Species: F. rufigularis
Binomial name
Falco rufigularis
Daudin, 1800
Synonyms
  • Falco albigularis
    Daudin, 1800
  • Falco fuscocaerulescens
    Vieillot, 1817 (modern spelling)
  • Falco fusco-coerulescens
    Vieillot, 1817 (original spelling)

The bat falcon (Falco rufigularis) is a falcon that is a resident breeder in tropical Mexico, Central and South America and Trinidad. It was long known as Falco albigularis; the name Falco fusco-coerulescens or Falco fuscocaerulescens, long used for the aplomado falcon, are now believed to refer to the present species.[2]

The female bat falcon, at 30.5 cm length, is much larger than the 23 cm long male. Adults have a black back, head and tail. The throat, upper breast and neck sides are creamy white, the lower breast and belly are black, finely barred white, and the thighs and lower belly are orange. Young birds are similar but with a buffy throat. The call of this species is a high pitched ke-ke-ke like American kestrel.

It is probably closely related to and looks like a small version of the orange-breasted falcon. These two, in turn, are probably closest to the aplomado falcon and constitute a rather old American lineage of Falcos.[3]

This small dark bird of prey inhabits open woodlands and forest clearings. Bat falcons perch conspicuously on high open snags, from which they launch aerial attacks on their prey. They hunt bats, birds and large insects such as dragonflies. The smaller male takes more insects, and the female more birds and bats. The flight is direct and powerful. This falcon is partly crepuscular, as the bats in its diet suggest. It lays 2–3 brown eggs in an unlined tree hole nest.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Falco rufigularis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ American Ornithologists' Union (1948). "Twenty-third supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union check-list of North American birds". Auk 65 (3): 438–443. doi:10.2307/4080493. 
  3. ^ Probably diverging from their relatives some 8-5 million years ago, during the Late Miocene. See Birregard (1994), Helbig et al. (1994), Wink et al. (1998), Griffiths (1999), Groombridge et al. (2002), Griffiths et al. (2004)

References[edit]

  • Beebe, C. William (1950): The home life of the bat falcon, Falco albigularis Daudin. Zoologica (New York) 35(4): 69–86.
  • Birregard, Richard O. (1994): 45. Bat Falcon. In: del Hoyo, Josep; Elliott, Andrew & Sargatal, Jordi (editors): Handbook of Birds of the World, Volume 2 (New World Vultures to Guineafowl): 267–268, plate 27. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. ISBN 84-87334-15-6
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton & Eckelberry, Don R. (1991): A guide to the birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing, Ithaca, N.Y.. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003): Birds of Venezuela. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5
  • Helbig, A.J.; Seibold, I.; Bednarek, W.; Brüning, H.; Gaucher, P.; Ristow, D.; Scharlau, W.; Schmidl, D. & Wink, Michael (1994): Phylogenetic relationships among falcon species (genus Falco) according to DNA sequence variation of the cytochrome b gene. In: Meyburg, B.-U. & Chancellor, R.D. (editors): Raptor conservation today: 593–599. PDF fulltext
  • Griffiths, Carole S. (1999): Phylogeny of the Falconidae inferred from molecular and morphological data. Auk 116(1): 116–130. PDF fulltext
  • Griffiths, Carole S.; Barrowclough, George F.; Groth, Jeff G. & Mertz, Lisa (2004). "Phylogeny of the Falconidae (Aves): a comparison of the efficacy of morphological, mitochondrial, and nuclear data". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32 (1): 101–9. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2003.11.019. PMID 15186800. 
  • Groombridge, Jim J.; Jones, Carl G.; Bayes, Michelle K.; van Zyl, Anthony J.; Carrillo, José; Nichols, Richard A. & Bruford, Michael W. (2002). "A molecular phylogeny of African kestrels with reference to divergence across the Indian Ocean". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 25 (2): 267–77. doi:10.1016/S1055-7903(02)00254-3. PMID 12414309. 
  • Wink, Michael; Seibold, I.; Lotfikhah, F. & Bednarek, W. (1998): Molecular systematics of holarctic raptors (Order Falconiformes). In: Chancellor, R.D., Meyburg, B.-U. & Ferrero, J.J. (editors): Holarctic Birds of Prey: 29–48. Adenex & WWGBP. PDF fulltext

External links[edit]