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  • Writer's pictureIBCP

Investigating the elusive Orange-breasted Falcon in Peru

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

September 25, 2021

An Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus). Photo by Luke Seitz.

IBCP is pleased to announce that an IBCP Partnership Grant has been awarded to Fernando Angulo, MSc, of CORBIDI, Peru, to support his project, “Breeding biology of the Orange-breasted Falcon in the central Peruvian rain forest.” The Orange-breasted Falcon is one of the least known and possibly most sparsely distributed falcons in the world. It is among the few Falco species that occurs primarily in tropical forest, where it hunts birds and bats. Easily confused with the more common Bat Falcon, its distribution and abundance are poorly known and its range appears to be contracting in South America. It is considered Near Threatened by the IUCN, and several South American countries have listed it as critically endangered. It typically nests on high cliffs or emergent trees in areas of lowland or lower montane primary forest.

Biologist Fernando Angulo in the field in Peru. Photo by Jorge Novoa.

In Peru, the Orange-breasted Falcon’s breeding season is believed to extend from September to November, but we know little about its breeding ecology or life history. Fernando has received a Partnership Grant in the amount of US $1500 to support a field investigation of this species that includes recording nesting activities and behavior and collecting pellets at the base of nests to investigate food items consumed by nestlings and adults. He will document nest occupancy and productivity, and characterize nest sites and habitat. Orange-breasted Falcons are believed to occupy territories year-round, so Fernando will also attempt to continue observations after the breeding season.

Fernando will publish his findings in a scientific journal, to add to his previous publications on birds of prey including Merlins, Bat Falcons, Ornate Hawk-Eagles, and Andean Condors. We look forward to learning more about the elusive Orange-breasted Falcon thanks to this research!

An Orange-breasted Falcon. Photo by Luke Seitz.

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