Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus)

Orange-breasted Falcon

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Falco deiroleucus | [authority] Temminck, 1825 | [UK] Orange-breasted Falcon | [FR] Faucon orange | [DE] Rotbrustfalke | [ES] Halcon Pechirrojo | [NL] Bonte Slechtvalk


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Falco deiroleucus LA s Mexico to ne Argentina


Members of the genus falco are mostly medium-sized falcons, but vary from the large peregrine falcon to the small American kestrel. The wings are long and pointed and used almost continuously during flight. The bill is short, powerful, and with a distinct ‘tooth’ on each side. Most falcons of this group have a black teardrop-shaped ‘mustache’ mark on each side of the head. Falcons are fastflying birds of open country and are famous for attaining high speeds as they dive from high altitudes to knock birds out of the air.

Physical charateristics

The face, sides of head and upper parts in the adult are black; the feathers margined with slate-colour; and the tail with four narrow, white bars. The throat is white, the breast, lower abdomen and thighs orange brown. Across mid-ventral region there is a broad band of black; its feathers barred or tipped with buff to white. The eyes are dark brown; the cere yellowish green; the bill slate black, becoming greenish leaden towards the base on the lower mandible. The feet are bright yellow.
Immatures are similar, but the chest is paler, the lower abdomen and thighs are black barred like the mid-section with buff or white.

Listen to the sound of Orange-breasted Falcon

[audio: Falcon.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 24 cm size max.: 30 cm
incubation min.: 28 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 32 days fledging max.: 25 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Latin America : South Mexico to Northeast Argentina.Sparse distribution throughout range, The Guatemala/Belize population of Orange-breasted Falcons is geographically and genetically disjunct from the species’s main range in South America, is perhaps the only local population (at best one of a small number) in Mesoamerica


Prefers tropical lowland with evergreen forest at an maximum elevation of 2.000 meters. Aerial hunter mostly seen soaring tropical hills and lower slopes at 500-900 m. In tropical America patchily distributed. In Belize and Guatemala the species appears restricted to forested areas in conjunction with large nesting cliffs. Is tightly linked to the existence of suitable nesting cliffs combined with large forested areas.


The Orange-breasted Falcon nests in trees and cliffs with nearby water bodies. The emale incubates the 1-3 eggs, while the male feeds her while nesting. he calls her and she picks up the prey, the male rarely enters the nest. If the female rejects prey, the male will cache it instead of delivering it the the young. Incubation lasts for about 30 days, young fledgde after about 40 days

Feeding habits

Birds, including doves, caciques, and parrots.

Video Orange-breasted Falcon


copyright: P. de Groot Boersma


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 3,300,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population size criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., less than 10,000 mature individuals in conjunction with appropriate decline rates and subpopulation qualifiers), even though the species is described as ‘rare’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Habitat loss and fragmentation, and possibly environmental contamination, known populations are small and widely separated, and may be subject to the effects of genetic isolation, natural attrition, and random catastrophic events, such as a hurricane or disease epidemic.
Orange-breasted Falcon status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Orange-breasted Falcon distribution range map

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