Collared Forest Falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus)

Collared Forest Falcon

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Micrastur semitorquatus | [authority] Vieillot, 1817 | [UK] Collared Forest Falcon | [FR] Carnifex a collier | [DE] Kappen-Waldfalke | [ES] Halcon-montes Collarejo | [NL] Grote Bosvalk


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Micrastur are falcons varying in size from small to quite large. Their wings are short and very rounded. The tail is often long, rounded and arched, but in some forms comparatively shorter. The beak is short, deep and (unusually for a falcon) untoothed. They have long legs. The crown feathers are slightly pointed; those of ear region are narrow, stiff and upsurged, forming a slight ruff. They have large ear openings and hunt in part by sound. There are five species, all in the tropical forests of the Americas.

Physical charateristics

This hawk is sooty black above and white below, with a nuchal (back of the neck) white collar and a long black with white bars banded tail. Three color morphs exist A) White/black B) all black with dark brown below and C) tawny mprh with black above and buff below. All have yellow legs and feet, bare facial skin is dull green and iris is brown. Sexes are similar, but female larger.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 46 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 44 days incubation max.: 47 days
fledging min.: 46 days fledging max.: 47 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Latin America : Central Mexico to North Argentina


This is a forest bird. It prefers dense thickets, copses, and even impenetrable mangroves; going around rather than across forest clearings. It usually stays at low levels and avoids tall forest with little undergrowth.


Nest in caveties usually with more than one entrance. Nest 12-20 meter above ground in large mature trees. One brood with a clutch of 2-3 eggs, incubated for about 46 days. The young fledge after about 48 days and are fed for one more moth. After this month other adults start feeding the young and the natural parents disappear.

Feeding habits

Birds, including domestic chickens. Said to specialise in chachalacas (Ortabs), birds which, like this falcon, are adapted for threading through thickets. Also occasionally takes mammals. It seems also to be partial to lizards, snakes and insects. If prey is sighted, it bobs the head up and down like many falcons. It often plunges on prey from a perch, killing the victim with the feet and by a bite on the neck. Extremely active and bold when hunting, otherwise lethargic. Often seen in pairs, apparently at all seasons, the pair may perch within a meter or two of one another.

Video Collared Forest Falcon


copyright: P. de Groot Boersma


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
The Collared Forest Falcon can be found in the forested regions of tropical America, sometimes up to 2.000 or 2.500 meter, from central Mexico south to eastern Bolivia, northern Argentina, and Paraguay.
Collared Forest Falcon status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range.

Distribution map

Collared Forest Falcon distribution range map

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