|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]|
|Physical description : Bat falcon has black head and upperparts. Feathers show a greyish edge from upper back to tail coverts.|
It has white chin, throat and upper breast, with rufous extension to the rear neck, and half white collar.
Lower breast is black, finely streaked with white.
Thighs, belly and vent are chestnut. Bat falcon has long black tail, finely streaked with white or grey, and buff tip.
Eyes are dark brown with yellow eye ring.
Bill is hooked, small and black, with yellow cere.
Legs and long feet are yellow, with black claws.
Both sexes are similar, with female larger than male.
Immature resembles adults, with buffy throat.
Voice : Bat falcon calls to the female during breeding season. Its call is Faucon des chauves-souris a high pitched 'ke-ke-ke'.
Habitat : Bat falcon inhabits at the edge of tropical rain forest and of woodlands in semi-arid areas. It also lives in vegetation beside streams. It may occur from 900 to 2000 metres of elevation.
GEOGRAPHIC RANGE: Bat falcon lives in Mexico and Central and South America, from Mexico to northern Argentina.
Behaviour : Bat falcon is often perched on exposed branches of dead trees. It is a solitary bird, spending most of its time hunting, dropping down to the prey to catch it, or performing aerial attack.
It feeds on bats, but not only, generally snatched at dawn or dusk, when they come in or out from their roosts.
It may catch preys on the wing, with stunning agility, such as humming birds, swallows and swifts. Bat falcon Faucon des chauves-souris hunts mostly at dusk and dawn, and it is nocturnal.
During breeding season, male offers preys to its mate before copulation.
Both parents defend strongly the nest, chasing other raptors.
Flight : Bat falcon has direct and powerful flight. It can pursue its prey very swiftly. It may perform acrobatic flights to catch a prey on the wing. It flies quickly with strong and shallow wing beats. It often flies above canopy.
Reproduction-nesting : Bat falcon's nest is often located in tree cavities or abandoned holes, from wood pickers, or old parrots nests in termite colonies. It also can be found in cliffs, ruins, with open access, very high in trees, between 10 and 50 metres above the ground.
Female lays 2 to 4 white eggs, spotted with brown. Incubation lasts about 4 to 7 weeks. Male brings food at nest until fledging.
Young fledge at 35 to 40 days after hatching, they are fully feathered and they are able to eat preys on their own.
During this period, both adults protect young and nest, chasing all raptors sometimes on one kilometre of distance.
Food habits : Bat falcon feeds on bats, of course, but mainly small birds and large insects such as dragonflies, moths and large grasshoppers.
Its diet varies by summer and winter. In summer, it feeds on birds, and in winter, insects. It may eat some lizards and mice.
Protection / threats : Bat falcon populations are stable in Argentina, but in Mexico and Central America, this species is endangered, with habitat loss and deforestation.
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