Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Near Threatened

Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus)


French: Faucon orangé German: Rotbrustfalke Spanish: Halcón pechirrojo

Falco deiroleucus


, 1825,

São Francisco Island, Santa Catarina, Brazil


Has sometimes been linked with F. peregrinus complex, but now considered related to F. subbuteo group (which see). Similarity to F. rufigularis probably indicates a recent common ancestor, rather than convergence; vocal behaviour unusual among falcons, shared only with latter species. Monotypic.


S Mexico S through Central America to Colombia, E to the Guianas, and S, E of Andes, through Peru#R, Brazil and Bolivia to Paraguay and N Argentina. Formerly thought to nest only around periphery of Amazon, but recent records of adults and juveniles in C Brazilian Amazonia suggest that species breeds throughout extensive range.

Descriptive notes

33–40 cm; male 330–360 g, female 393–654 g; wingspan 69–85 cm. Toes abnormally long and mandible disproportionately large for a falcon; bright yellow... read more


Highly vocal throughout breeding season. In general, lower-pitched and harder sounding than F.... read more


Locally throughout lowland tropical forest, but also reported at interface of forest and open... read more

Food and feeding

Highly specialized on flying prey, including pigeons, shorebirds, parakeets, parrots, jays, oropendolas, caciques, swifts and martins... read more


Almost all available data from Ecuador, or Guatemala and Belize. In Guatemala and Belize, courtship in Jan–Feb, egg-laying late Mar/... read more


Apparently sedentary, although some reports appear well outside known breeding range, e.g. on... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. CITES II. Currently considered Near Threatened and probably in ongoing decline. Sparse distribution throughout range, especially in Middle America,... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Orange-breasted Falcon (Falco deiroleucus). 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 7 December 2019).