Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Barred Forest-falcon (Micrastur ruficollis)


French: Carnifex barré German: Sperberwaldfalke Spanish: Halcón montés agavilanado

Sparvius ruficollis


, 1817,

South America = Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Recent study indicated that this species is part of a clade with M. plumbeus, M. gilvicollis and M. mintoni, the four having diverged very rapidly#R. Until recently considered to include M. gilvicollis as a race, but voice and morphology support species status for latter, which is widely sympatric with present species. Possible races oaxacae and kalinowskii currently included in guerilla and zonothorax, respectively. Six subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. r. guerilla Cassin, 1848 – S Mexico to Nicaragua.
  • M. r. interstes Bangs, 1907 – Costa Rica and Panama to W Colombia, W Ecuador and extreme NW Peru#R.
  • M. r. zonothorax (Cabanis, 1866) – mountains of N Colombia and N Venezuela (Santa Marta Mts, Sierra de Perijá, Coastal Range), and S in E Andean foothills to Peru, possibly to Bolivia.
  • M. r. concentricus (Lesson, 1830) – S Venezuela, the Guianas and through Amazonia.
  • M. r. ruficollis (Vieillot, 1817) – S of Amazonia in Brazil, Paraguay and NC & NE Argentina (E Formosa, E Chaco, Misiones).
  • M. r. olrogi Amadon, 1964 – NW Argentina (subtropical forests in foothills of Jujuy, Salta and Tucumán).
  • Descriptive notes

    31–39 cm; male 144–184 g, female 200–322 g, or male 156–176 g and female 207–307 g (guerilla) and unsexed 180–207 g (olrogi... read more


    Advertising call is a somewhat dog-like, monotonous yapping, “keyak”, “ark... read more


    Humid and wet tropical forests: in Middle America, high, mature forests; in Amazonia and SE Brazil... read more

    Food and feeding

    Most frequently lizards; also birds, including Brown Tinamou (Crypturellus obsoletus), Plumbeous Pigeon (Patagioenas plumbea... read more


    Virtually all data from Petén (Guatemala), where lays mid Apr to mid May (late dry season), hatching mid May to mid Jun and fledging... read more


    Sedentary, but occasionally recorded outside generally known range, e.g. S Rio Grande do Sul,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Along with M. gilvicollis, probably one of most abundant raptors in Amazonian forests. Average estimated density... read more

    Recommended citation

    Bierregaard, R.O., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Barred Forest-falcon (Micrastur ruficollis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 21 February 2020).