FALCONS AND CARACARAS   -   FALCONIDAE


Laughing Falcon - Herpetotheres cachinnans
Laughing Falcon
Herpetotheres cachinnans cachinnans
Tayrona NP, Magdalena department, Colombia.
The masked bandit of the Neotropics. It's a very widespread species occurring from Mexico to southern Brazil and northern Argentina. It feeds mainly on snakes. (S6)


Barred Forest-Falcon - Micrastur ruficollis
Barred Forest-Falcon
Micrastur ruficollis interstes
Mangaloma reserve, Pichincha province, Ecuador.
Juvenile. Some juveniles, like this one, are buffy below, others are more pure white. All juveniles have incomplete barring on their underparts and a partial white collar. (S6)


Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon - Micrastur mirandollei
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon
Micrastur mirandollei
Panama Rainforest Discover Center, Colón province, Panama.
Juvenile. Despite being widespread in Central and South America, this rainforest species is scarce, shy, and rarely seen. It was very exciting to be able to photograph one, even if it was a young bird. (S8)


Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon - Micrastur mirandollei
Slaty-backed Forest-Falcon
Micrastur mirandollei
Panama Rainforest Discover Center, Colón province, Panama.
Juvenile. This is the same bird as in the photo above, but it shows some of the breast; the markings indicate it is a juvenile. (S8)


Spot-winged Falconet - Spiziapteryx circumcincta
Spot-winged Falconet
Spiziapteryx circumcincta
Cruz del Eje, Córdoba province, Argentina.
An odd monotypic genus of the chaco region of southern South America. (D3)


Spot-winged Falconet - Spiziapteryx circumcincta
Spot-winged Falconet
Spiziapteryx circumcincta
San José de las Salinas, Córdoba province, Argentina.
(S5)


Crested Caracara - Caracara cheriway
Crested Caracara
Caracara cheriway cheriway
Chaparrí Reserve, Lambayeque department, Peru.
The upper bird is a juvenile from the streaked breast. (S6)


Southern Caracara - Caracara plancus
Southern Caracara
Caracara plancus
Río Grande, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Very similar to Crested Caracara, and they were formerly considered conspecific. Southern Caracara can have more extensive barring, especially on the back, which this bird shows pretty well. (S8)


Southern Caracara - Caracara plancus
Southern Caracara
Caracara plancus
Pixaim, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
(S11)


Southern Caracara - Caracara plancus
Southern Caracara
Caracara plancus
Porto Jofre, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Immature. (S11)


Red-throated Caracara - Ibycter americanus
Red-throated Caracara
Ibycter americanus
Mitú, Vaupés department, Colombia.
This bird is fairly widespread in tropical lowland rainforest. It has one of the most unique voices of all Neotropical birds, one of my favorites. I won't try to describe, but there is a sample below. (S6)



Carunculated Caracara - Phalcoboenus carunculatus
Carunculated Caracara
Phalcoboenus carunculatus
Antisana reserve, Napo province, Ecuador.
An adult bird feeding in the páramo. The name "Caruculated" comes from the wrinkled appearance to its facial skin, which can be seen in this shot. (S8)


Carunculated Caracara - Phalcoboenus carunculatus
Carunculated Caracara
Phalcoboenus carunculatus
Antisana reserve, Napo province, Ecuador.
A juvenile, which is very similar to the juvenile of Mountain Caracara, which replaces it from southern Ecuador southward. This bird has a glossy tinge to its plumage, which I suspect means it is an older bird than the Mountain Caracara below. (S4)


Mountain Caracara - Phalcoboenus megalopterus
Mountain Caracara
Phalcoboenus megalopterus
Above Leymebamba, Amazona region, Peru.
(S8)


Mountain Caracara - Phalcoboenus megalopterus
Mountain Caracara
Phalcoboenus megalopterus
Machu Picchu, Cusco department, Peru.
A juvenile scavenging in the ruins. (P1)


Striated Caracara - Phalcoboenus australis
Striated Caracara
Phalcoboenus australis
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Adult (or perhaps an older immature). This species is restricted to extreme southern Tierra del Fuego and nearby islands, as well as the Falklands. This species takes four years to reach full adult plumage, and immatures far outnumber adults. The one here was the closest to adult plumage of the ones I encountered on my short visit to Carcass Island. (S8)


Striated Caracara - Phalcoboenus australis
Striated Caracara
Phalcoboenus australis
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Immature. (S8)


Striated Caracara - Phalcoboenus australis
Striated Caracara
Phalcoboenus australis
Carcass Island, Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
Immature with a bulging crop. (S8)


White-throated Caracara - Phalcoboenus albogularis
White-throated Caracara
Phalcoboenus albogularis
Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Restricted to far southern South America. One of the best places to see it is the municipal dump in Ushuaia, where several individuals are usually present. I could not talk my way into the dump (they wanted a letter of authorization!), so I had to watch from the fence. They are easy enough to see, but the only one close enough to photograph was this flying bird. (S8)


Black Caracara - Daptrius ater
Black Caracara
Daptrius ater
Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Mato Grosso, Brazil.
(S11)


Black Caracara - Daptrius ater
Black Caracara
Daptrius ater
Cristalino Jungle Lodge, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
The yellow-faced bird on the right is an immature. It has white frosting on its breast and belly and a lot of white on the undertail coverts. (S6)


Yellow-headed Caracara - Milvago chimachima
Yellow-headed Caracara
Milvago chimachima chimachima
Reserva Ecologica de Guapi Assu, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.
A widespread neotropical species occuring in non-forested tropical lowland areas. A juvenile is on the left, which is noticeably bigger than the parent on the right. This suggests that the juvenile is a female and the adult is a male. (D3)


Chimango Caracara - Milvago chimango
Chimango Caracara
Milvago chimango chimango
Quinta, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil.
Replaces the previous species southward, mostly found outside of the tropics. (D4)


Chimango Caracara - Milvago chimango
Chimango Caracara
Milvago chimango temucoensis
Martial Glaciar, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.
Juvenile. (S6)


Chimango Caracara - Milvago chimango
Chimango Caracara
Milvago chimango chimango
Gaiman, Chubut province, Argentina.
A nestling almost ready to leave the nest. Its siblings had already fledged and were being fed nearby by the two parents. 6 December 2011. (S6)




American Kestrel - Falco sparverius
American Kestrel
Falco sparverius cinnamonimus
Valdes Peninsula, Chubut province, Argentina.
Male. (S6)


American Kestrel - Falco sparverius
American Kestrel
Falco sparverius cinnamonimus
Valdes Peninsula, Chubut province, Argentina.
Female, the mate of the bird in the previous shot. (S6)


American Kestrel - Falco sparverius
American Kestrel
Falco sparverius cearae
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Male. (S7)


Orange-breasted Falcon - Falco deiroleucus
Orange-breasted Falcon
Falco deiroleucus
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
Probably a male due to relatively small size. The larger feet and talons, bulkier shape, and coarse black and buff barring on the vest separate this species from the often very similar Bat Falcon F. rufigularis (compare with the photo below). Bat Falcons can also show a lot of rufous on the breast and side of neck, so that is not really a good feature to use - look at it's latin name! (S6)


Bat Falcon - Falco rufigularis
Bat Falcon
Falco rufigularis ophryophanes
Chapada dos Guimarães, Mato Gross state, Brazil.
It was catching insects over the Veu de Noiva waterfall at dusk. This was digiscoped with about a 1/2 second exposure. (D2)


Merlin - Falco columbarius
Merlin
Falco columbarius columbarius(?)
Parque La Florida, Bogotá, Colombia.
Merlins are uncommon to rare winter residents in northern South America. This is an unusually high record at 2500 m above sea level. (D3)



Peregrine Falcon - Falco peregrinus
Peregrine Falcon
Falco peregrinus (ssp. unknown)
Virgen del Socorro, Heredia province, Costa Rica.
(D2)


Aplomado Falcon - Falco femoralis
Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis pichinchae
La Quiaca-Santa Victoria road, Jujuy province, Argentina.
A handsome falcon that is widespread in the Neotropics. This individual is eating a Band-tailed Sierra-Finch Phrygilus alaudinus. Birds like this one from the high Andes are of the pichinchae subspecies, which have a rusty tinge. The amount of rusty seems to vary regionally; in some places, such as Ecuador, they show much more. (S8)


Aplomado Falcon - Falco femoralis
Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis pichinchae
La Quiaca-Santa Victoria road, Jujuy province, Argentina.
The bird on the right is the same one as in the photo above. (S8)


Aplomado Falcon - Falco femoralis
Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis pichinchae
Los Cardones National Park, Salta province, Argentina.
(S8)


Aplomado Falcon - Falco femoralis
Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis femoralis
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
The male is the smaller bird on the left. These birds are the nominate subspecies, which are whiter and have a complete vest compared to the highland subspecies shown above. (S7)


Aplomado Falcon - Falco femoralis
Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis femoralis
Pousada Piuval, Pantanal, Mato Grosso state, Brazil.
This is the female from the photo above, about to take off. (S7)



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