Bat Falcon

Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #23

By Jim Gain


  • Scientific Name: Falco rufigularis
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Halcón Murcielaguero
  • Name in Mayan: K’ik’lis
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: BAFA
  • Family: Falconidae – Falcons and Caracaras
  • Order: Falconiformes – Falcons and Caracaras
Bat Falcon Image © Jim Gain

About this Species

The Bat Falcon (Falco rufigularis) is a small bird of prey that can be found in Belize, as well as throughout much of Central and South America. As its name suggests, this species primarily feeds on bats, which it hunts in flight at dusk and dawn. In addition to bats, the Bat Falcon also preys on other small birds and insects.

Bat Falcon Image © Jim Gain

The Bat Falcon is a striking bird with a distinctive appearance. Its upperparts are dark gray, while its underparts are black with white streaks. The head is black with a white throat. Juvenile birds are similar in appearance to adults, but with less distinct markings.

Bat Falcon Image © Jim Gain

The Bat Falcon typically nests in tree cavities or on cliff ledges, and will lay a clutch of 2-4 eggs. Both parents will take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the young. In Belize, the breeding season for Bat Falcons typically begins in March and lasts through July.

Bat Falcon Image © Jim Gain

Despite being a relatively common species, the Bat Falcon is threatened by habitat loss and persecution by humans. Efforts are being made to protect this species and its habitat, including through the establishment of protected areas in Belize and elsewhere in Central America.

>> Next Post on Sunday, 5/14/2023 – Yellow-billed Cacique

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