LIFER: The Aplomado falcon

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Aplomado Falcon in Bandabou on Monday December 18 2017. Picture by Rob Wellens

2017 is going out with a bang! Bird-wise!

We uploaded the pictures of our bird watching trip last Saturday on Facebook but with a question mark as to the identification of one of the birds of prey we spotted. What we first thought to be a Merlin clearly wasn’t when we analyzed the pictures we took. So we decided to bring in some expert advise from Venezuela in the person of J C Fernández Ordóñez and it is now confirmed, we officially have another NEW BIRD ADDITION on the CURACAO BIRD CHECKLIST! The second new species on that list in 1 week!

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Aplomado Falcon in Bandabou on December 16. Picture by Michelle Pors-da Costa Gomez

Meet the Aplomado Falcon (Aplomado valk).


WIKIPEDIA writes: “The aplomado falcon is very slender, long-winged, and long-tailed, the size of a small peregrine falcon (F. peregrinus), at 12–16 in (30–40 cm) long and with an average wingspan of about 36 in (90 cm), but only half the weight, at about 7.3–10.8 oz (208–305 g) in males and 9.6–16 oz (271–460 g) in females. In adult birds, the upperparts are dark blue-grey, as is much of the head, with the usual falcon “moustache” contrasting sharply with the white throat and eyestripe. The upper breast continues the white of the throat; there are black patches on each side of the lower breast that meet in the middle; the belly and thighs, below the black patches, are light cinnamon. The tail is black with narrow white or grey bars and a white tip. The cere, eye-ring, and feet are yellow or yellow-orange.

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Aplomado Falcon in Bandabou on Monday December 18 2017. Picture by Rob Wellens

Except that females are bigger than males, the sexes are similar. Juvenile birds are very similar to adults, but their upperparts and belly band are blackish brown, the chest is streaked with black, the white on the head and breast is buffy, and the cinnamon on the underparts is paler, as are the feet.” WIKIPEDIA

Check out the Ebird Checklists with this species:

1. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41170827

2. http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41176485


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