Incubating Orange-breasted Falcon as host for a Vampire Bat

Incubating birds are often times target for predation which could come from unexpected places. Sometimes even from potential prey items! The Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus) population is probably declining in Central America and researchers are trying to figure out why.

In 2008,  while working as biologists for The Peregrine Fund, Angel, Yeray and Marta were able to document how a Vampire Bat was parasitizing a female Orange-breasted Falcon while she was incubating. This is something that had never been observed or described before. Click here to read the article published in the prestigious Journal of Raptor Research about this interesting interaction.

Orange-breasted Falcons have a widespread but extremely patchy distribution in the American tropics. They nest on remote and hard-to-access cliffs from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. There is much to learn about their natural history. The Peregrine Fund has been studying Orange-breasted Falcons since 1978 in order to learn more about this rare species. Through decades of field work and years of captive breeding programs, biologists are just starting to understand this unique and special falcon. The Orange-breasted Falcon is considered Near-Threatened, and conservation efforts are important to ensure the survival of the species.

Learn more about the Orange-breasted Falcon on Explore Raptors.

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