[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Micrastur ruficollis | [authority] Vieillot, 1817 | [UK] Barred Forest Falcon | [FR] Carnifex barre | [DE] Sperber-Waldfalke | [ES] Halcon-montes | [NL] Gestreepte Bosvalk
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.
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.
Latin America : South Mexico to North Argentina. The Barred Forest Falcon is found in tropical and sub-tropical forests from south-eastern Mexico, south through South America to Colombia, Ecuador, eastern Peru and Bolivia, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and east through Brazil.
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 second-growth 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. As with the Collared Forest Falcon, it appears to be partly crepuscular. It seldom leaves the shadow of the forest and usually perches quite low down, well concealed in vines or thick vegetation, through which it twists dexterously.
Barred Forest-Falcons mainly utilize mature, “upland” forest. Forest-falcons, like most falconids, do not build a nest, and lay their eggs in cavities in trees. Clutches are of two or three eggs. Laying occurred 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 laying, 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. High nest and mate fidelity
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.
Video Barred Forest Falcon
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 Barred Forest Falcon is found in tropical and sub-tropical forests from south-eastern Mexico, south through South America to Colombia, Ecuador, eastern Peru and Bolivia, northern Argentina, Paraguay, and east through Brazil. In Suriname a rare bird in the interior
Sedentary in all of its range.