Nov 07 2010
This is the cryptic forest-falcon (Micrastur mintoni) of the southern Amazon watershed. It is so shy and so hard to see that until 2002 its museum specimens were thought to be a similar bird, the lined forest-falcon. Both have slate gray backs and red-orange cere and lores.
Forest-falcons hunt in thickly forested habitat so their bodies have many of the same characteristics as our accipters: short rounded wings, long tails, and relatively long legs. The cryptic forest-falcon is somewhat comparable in size and shape to our sharp-shinned hawk.
If you happen to go to the Amazon to look for this bird, good luck. My raptor guide says it is “best located by song: single low-pitched notes uk, uk, uk..”
Thanks to Diane Korolog for alerting me to this beautiful bird.
(photo is linked from MSNBC‘s Amazing Amazon slideshow. Click on the picture to watch the slideshow. It is the second photo in the series.)