- ORDER: Falconiformes
- FAMILY: Falconidae
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
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.
- Halcón Aleto (Spanish)
- Faucon aplomado (French)
- Cool Facts
- The northern population of Aplomado Falcons in the U.S. and northern Mexico is listed as Endangered.
- Aplomado Falcons don’t build their own nests, instead they use old nests built by other raptors, crows, ravens, and magpies, sometimes evicting the birds from active nests.
- Aplomado Falcon pairs pass food to each other in midair. Sometimes the male passes the food with ease to the female; other times he hangs on to the food a bit too long and the female drags him in the air until he lets go.
- The oldest recorded Aplomado Falcon lived to be at least 8 years and 8 months old.