Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Slaty-backed Forest-falcon (Micrastur mirandollei)


French: Carnifex ardoisé German: Graurücken-Waldfalke Spanish: Halcón montés dorsigrís

Astur mirandollei


, 1862,



Recent study indicated that this species is closest to M. semitorquatus, with M. buckleyi sister to this pair, all three forming a distinct clade#R. Birds from NW of range (Costa Rica to W Colombia) occasionally treated as separate race, extimus, but not normally recognized. Monotypic.


Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia S down W slope of Andes to NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas), and E through Amazonia to the Guianas and NC Brazil (NE Pará) and S to C Bolivia; also E Brazil (Espírito Santo).

Descriptive notes

40–45 cm; male c. 420 g, female c. 500–556 g; wingspan 65–71 cm. Slate-grey above, darker on crown and tail, but paler on cheeks, with white to cream-... read more


Mainly heard around dusk or dawn (sometimes well before first light): chanting series of 8–13... read more


Lowland tropical rainforest, often in fairly undisturbed parts and frequently associated with... read more

Food and feeding

Very little information available. Feeds on birds, e.g. Dusky-faced Tanager (Mitrospingus cassinii), lizards and snakes. Hunts in... read more


No information available. Presumably nests in tree cavities, as do congeners.


Presumably sedentary, although juveniles might be expected to wander to some extent.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Status very poorly known, perhaps in part because so easily confused with other species. Widely distributed, but everywhere... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Slaty-backed Forest-falcon (Micrastur mirandollei). 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 17 February 2020).