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Aplomado Falcon

Silhouette FalconsFalcons
Aplomado FalconFalco femoralis
  • ORDER: Falconiformes
  • FAMILY: Falconidae

Basic Description

The Aplomado Falcon is as colorful as an American Kestrel, but it is bigger and bolder with black-and-white facial stripes and tricolored underparts. This long-tailed and long-winged falcon catches birds and insects in midair and hunts lizards and small mammals on foot. The Aplomado Falcon was once common in dry grasslands of the southwestern United States, but it's now endangered in the U.S. and is being reintroduced in south Texas. Despite its rarity in the U.S., this bird's global range extends all the way south to Tierra del Fuego, Argentina.

More ID Info
image of range map for Aplomado Falcon
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Within the United States, Aplomado Falcons occur only in southeast Texas and in New Mexico. To find them, scan open country and fence lines for a fast-flying raptor that looks like a larger version of an American Kestrel with a longer tail and longer wings. Its shape alone should stand out amongst other raptors in the region. They typically occur in pairs and often perch next to each other. Don’t forget to look for them on the ground as they often hunt small mammals and other prey on foot.

Other Names

  • Halcón Aleto (Spanish)
  • Faucon aplomado (French)
  • Cool Facts