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GALLERIES > BIRDS > FALCONIFORMES > FALCONIDAE > BARRED FOREST-FALCON [Micrastur ruficollis]

Barred Forest-Falcon Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

The Barred Forest-falcon (Micrastur ruficollis) is a species of bird of prey in the Falconidae family which includes the falcons, caracaras, and their relatives. It occurs throughout tropical Latin America except the Pacific coast, meaning it does not occur in Chile.

Description

The adult male is dark slate grey above; his tail tipped with white and having three narrow white bars. The throat is pale grey, shading to the darker slate of the crown. The rest of his under parts, including the under-wing coverts are white, finely and clearly barred with black. The upper breast is a darker grey. Primary flight feathers are dark brownish grey with off-white bars on the inner webs. The eyes are light orange brown; the bill black, becoming dull yellow at base of the lower mandible; the cere, lores, orbit and legs are orange-yellow.

Ecology

Barred Forest-Falcons mainly utilize mature upland forest. In Central America, the Barred Forest-falcon is generally restricted to mature tropical forests. In South America, however, the Barred Forest-falcon lives in other kinds of forests. For example, in Amazonia it occurs most often in secondary forests, gallery forests, tidal swamp forests, semideciduous forests and forest edges. In Acre, Brazil, the Barred Forest-falcon is reported to prefer disturbed forest types, both natural secondary and man made, including bamboo and more open seasonally drier forest on rocky outcrops.

It is rare on the eastern slope of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental, where it was recorded in primary forest and old secondary forest, in a narrow altitude band between 3,300-4,900 ft (1,000-1,500 m) ASL. Second-growth forest there is dominated by trees like Melastomaceae (e.g. Miconia and Tibouchina) and trees are generally overgrown with epiphytes and hemiepiphytes like Coussapoa (Urticaceae).

This species feed primarily upon birds, mammals and reptiles. Like Accipiter hawks, they often hunt prey by sitting quietly on tree branches and waiting for their victims to appear. When the latter arrive, the forest-falcons quickly ambush them, attempting to catch them with a brief, flying pursuit. However, forest-falcons also use other techniques to hunt prey, such as chasing prey on foot, following army ant swarms, and acoustical luring of birds, by means of a "facial disc"[verification needed].

Forest-falcons do not build a nest, but lay their eggs in cavities in trees. Clutches are of two or three white eggs. Laying occurs mainly late in the dry season, with hatching taking place at the onset of the rainy season, a time of increasing prey abundance. Eggs hatch 33-35 days after being laid, and nestlings fledge 35-44 days after hatching. Radio-tagged fledglings dispersed from their parents' territories within four to seven weeks after fledging, presumably achieving independence at that time. Nesting territories were occupied year after year; there is also high mate fidelity.





                                     



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