Aplomado Falcon
Falco femoralis
The Aplomado Falcon (Falco femoralis) ranges from northern Mexico (and very rarely into southern Texas and New Mexico) southward to the southern tip of South America. In this huge range the species may be common or very rare depending upon habitat and location. The bird shown here was photographed at Hato El Cedral, Apure, Venezuela, in April, 1992. The photo was taken with a Canon T-90 & Sigma 500mm F/4.5 lens. The camera and lens were mounted on a tripod. Kodachrome 200 film was used. The bird is back lighted as it sat perched on a small tree near the road. This species sometimes hunts over grassland fires and feeds on small birds and/or insects fleeing the flames. Scroll down for more and better shots.
In January, 1992, an Aplomado Falcon was found in west Texas in Presidio County. This was well before the breeding programs got started in this part of the state, and it was thought that this unbanded bird was a vagrant from Mexican Populations. This shot was taken as a record shot of the Presidio Co. bird in January, 1992, with the same equipment as above.
In the early 2000s, a captive hack and release program was begun on private ranches in Jeff Davis and Presidio Counties, Texas. In September, 2005, I got a few shots of a banded adult (probably released as a youngster in a previous year) near Fort Davis, Jeff Davis Co., Texas. These shots were taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 500mm F/4 L IS lens and 1.4 X extender. See some shots from 2006 below.
In September, 2006, I was fortunate enough to visit a private ranch near Valentine, Jeff Davis Co., Texas. The ranch is one of the hacking sites for the reintroduction program for this species. We stood on the ranch road a few hundred yards from the hack site and were able to see several young Aplomados in the area. On of the young birds made several aerial pursuits after a sparrow and I was able to get some shots as it flew by me. The five shots shown here were all taken with a Canon EOS 1D Mark II and EF 600mm F/4 L IS lens and 1.4X extender.