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Aplomado Falcon Falco femoralis


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Aplomado Falcon
credit: Elaine R. Wilson/CCSA

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Family: Falconidae, Falcons view all from this family

Description Male has white face and chest, dark breast band, and otherwise rufous underparts; upperparts are dark. Female has white elements of male's plumage replaced by speckled rufous.

Dimensions Length: 15-18 in (38-45.5 cm)

Endangered Status The Northern Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis septentrionalis), the subspecies of the Aplomado Falcon that occurs in the United States, is on the U.S. Endangered Species List. It is classified as endangered in Texas. These handsome birds of prey once ranged over the Southwest, but were all but wiped out in the U.S. by the 1940s as their arid scrub and grassland habitat was destroyed. Efforts are being made to help this species to recovery. Populations are being monitored in Mexico, and captive-bred birds have been released in Texas. In 1995 the first Aplomado Falcon pair in 43 years successfully raised a chick in Texas.

Habitat Visit Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Area near Brownsville, Texas, for a chance of seeing this species.

Range Texas, Southwest

Discussion Impressive and beautifully marked falcon. Widespread and generally scarce in Central and South America; formerly widespread in southern U.S. and becoming re-established thanks to Peregrine Fund program.