Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Cryptic Forest-falcon (Micrastur mintoni)


French: Carnifex de Minton German: Mintonwaldfalke Spanish: Halcón montés críptico

Micrastur mintoni


, 2002,

Estação Cientifíca Ferreira Penna, 1°44.176’ S, 51°21.162’ W, at approximately 200 m, Caxiuanã, Melgaço, Pará, Brazil


A member of the M. ruficollis clade. For more than a century, specimens of present species were erroneously labelled as M. gilvicollis#R#R. First detected as a separate species when its distinctive voice was noted in the field as clearly different from that of all its congeners; museum specimens confirmed that it differs also, albeit somewhat subtly, in several morphological features. Isolated population in Atlantic Forest of E Brazil shows subtle plumage variations and may represent distinct race, but more data required. Monotypic.


Locally in E & S Amazonian Brazil (Pará and W Maranhão S to Rondônia) and NE Bolivia (N Santa Cruz); also E Brazil, with recent sightings in Espírito Santo, and historical specimens from both this state and S Bahia.

Descriptive notes

30–35 cm; male 171–238 g (n = 8), female 170–264 g (n = 11). Plumage is slaty grey above, often darker on top of head, and with... read more


Three distinct vocalizations known: commonest is territorial advertising song, which consists of... read more


Lowland terra firme forest with tall trees and a dense understorey with many palms, vines... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet known to include reptiles and invertebrates; some small birds also likely prey, and one bird showed signs of... read more


Very little information. Suspected to nest in wet season (Dec–May) on the basis of birds molting remiges from Apr–Aug and an... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Little information; probably fairly common, although easily overlooked. Transect of virgin forest in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, yielded... read more

Recommended citation

Fjeldså, J., Marks, J.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Cryptic Forest-falcon (Micrastur mintoni). 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 24 February 2020).