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Pair of falcons from central Peru (1 Viewer)

Thibaud

Well-known member
Hello again,

This is one more from Paujil, in eastern Pasco (central Peru), where the Andes meet the Amazon.
One morning I saw this pair of falcons flying along the high hill that overlooked the station. I assumed that they were bat falcons, but now looking at the (admittedly grainy) photos on my laptop, both birds seem fairly bulky and have a rufous collar, which has me wondering, could it be... the king of neotropical falcons?
But I'm terrible with raptors in general, and I've only seen Orange-breasted once, in Guatemala, where the Tikal birds are really hard to miss.
So, as usual, what say the experts?

I got both birds in the same shot twice, which I then cropped, so that 1 and 3 are the female, and 2 and 4 are the male. Photo 5 is a slightly better photo of the female I think.

Many thanks as always
T
 

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Tote

Well-known member
Bat Falcons have almost no red on the neck base so I think they're Orange-breasted, as you say.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
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United States
You got yourself some neat flight images of this Falcon ;)

Not often seen in our Gallery. I think there are less than a dozen images in the BF Gallery's history.
 

pbjosh

missing the neotropics
Switzerland
Bat Falcon is quite variable and can have quite a bit of rufous on the neck, just to be clear that that should not be used as a single field mark.

However, the clearly demarcated break from a strong orange upper breast to a clean white throat is good for OB Falcon - Bat Falcons with orange on the upper breast tend to show it all the way to the chin or to have a more washed out color in general.

Additionally the black vest appears fairly narrow, which is good for OB Falcon. The strength and size of the white barring on the vest can be a good field mark but I don't think there's enough detail in the photos to analyze this.

Structure also looks good for OB Falcon, particularly the quite strong legs and the large head and long neck.

So yeah, I'd say it can be safely ID'd as Orange-breasted Falcon, but just wanted to clarify that orange on the upper breast is not definitive. For reference, here are a couple photos of Bat Falcons with orange on the upper breast / throat / neck:

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/24427181
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/27838891
 

njlarsen

Gallery Moderator
Opus Editor
Supporter
Barbados
I agree with PBJosh that its white over orange you are looking for. My question is, does this bird carry something in its beak or is the beak really that big on it?

Niels
 

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