|Orange-breasted Falcon Falco deiroleucus
The Orange-breasted Falcon is distributed in tropical South America with a disjunct population in Central America from southern Mexico to Panama. It used to be assumed that it nested only around the periphery of the Amazon Basin but recent records suggest that it is found throughout that area. See the distribution map at Birdlife International. It is classified as Near Threatened reflecting the threat that deforestation poses to this species.
|It is similar to Bat Falcon F. rufigularis but is larger with relatively shorter wings and tail and a
heavier bill. In flight it resembles Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus while the Bat Falcon can be mistaken for a swift.
It is found mainly in tropical forest and nests in a cavity either in a tall emergent tree or in cliffs. I was told that at Tikal a pair was nesting at the top of a Mayan pyramid. Frank B Smythe in his "Birds of Tikal" (1966) says "At Tikal we found them nesting in the roof-comb of Pyramid Temple II, in the Great Plaza, June 1963". This bird was feeding on a tree behind Temple II before it flew off.
They prey mainly on birds such as pigeons, jays and parrots.
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