Slaty-backed Forest Falcon (Micrastur mirandollei)

Slaty-backed Forest Falcon

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Micrastur mirandollei | [authority] Schlegel, 1862 | [UK] Slaty-backed Forest Falcon | [FR] Carnifex ardoise | [DE] Graurucken-Waldfalke | [ES] Halcon-montes Dorsigris | [NL] Mirandolle’s Bosvalk


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Micrastur mirandollei LA Costa Rica to e Brazil


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

Cere, lores and facial skin yellowish with a black bill and eyes dark yellowish. Crwon and upperparts slaty grey, cheeks light grey extending to sides of chest. Below unmarked to white slightly spotted buff. Tail black with 3 to 4 narrow grey or white bands, white narrow band on tip. Wings with linings white with brown flight feathers, below pale grey barred.

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 41 cm size max.: 46 cm
incubation min.: 20 days incubation max.: 30 days
fledging min.: 60 days fledging max.: 30 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 3  


Latin America : Costa Rica to East Brazil


It inhabits lowland forests; including the mainland forests (Amazonian forests that normally are not flooded) and forests of secondary vegetation. Conspicuous.


Nest is built in tree branches at about 1 meter height (one study only). A not too firm nest made up of small twigs. also presumed to build in tree caveties as other Micrastur do. Breeding behavior unknown but both parents incubate eggs and defend the nest.

Feeding habits

Diet consists mainly of small vertebrates like lizards, snakes and birds. Hunting form a perch or walking the ground.

Video Slaty-backed Forest Falcon


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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.
Its distribution ranges from Costa Rica to the Amazonian river basin, continuing towards the south east of Brazil. Also Costa Rica and Panama, in South America ocuuring in Colombia, south of Venezuela, the Guayanas, Ecuador and Brazil. Very rare species in the interior of Suriname
Slaty-backed Forest Falcon status Least Concern


Sedentary in all of its range.

Distribution map

Slaty-backed Forest Falcon distribution range map

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