Aplomado Falcon is a widespread raptor with a range that covers much of
South America, Central America, and southern Mexico. They used to
commonly range much further north, with nesting occurring in the
southwestern United States. However, by 1960, the species was
evidently extirpated from its United States range, as well as large parts of
northern and central Mexico. The last known nesting in the U.S. was in
New Mexico in the 1950s, until the successful nesting of a pair in 2002.
Significant efforts have been made to reintroduce the species in southern
Texas, and the species has been increasingly seen in New Mexico as well in
Habitat: They can be found in open grassland
habitats with scattered shrubs and trees, as well as open marshy areas.
They will also use large forest clearings.
Diet: Small birds make up a large portion of the
diet. They also often feed on large insects, and will sometimes take
small rodents, small lizards and snakes, and bats.
Behavior: Most prey is taken on the wing.
Aplomado Falcons can often been seen capturing insects from mid-air, and
consuming them in flight. Mated birds often hunt cooperatively.
Nesting: Nesting usually occurs in stick nests
built by other birds. Both the male and female will incubate the eggs
(typically 2 or 3), and both parents will help to raise the young.
Song: A sharp kek-kek-kek alarm call is
given when disturbed or when a bird senses danger.
Migration: Aplomado Falcons are permanent
residents in most of their range, but birds do make altitudinal migrations,
with birds that summer at higher elevations moving to lower elevations in
Conservation Status: Populations of the Aplomado
Falcon are considered stable, and the species has a widespread distribution.
They are considered a species of "Least Concern" by the IUCN. They
have, however, been extirpated from parts of their former range, including
large portions of northern and central Mexico, and the southwestern U.S.
Photo Information: December 2005 - Laguna Atascosa
National Wildlife Refuge, Cameron County, Texas -