Zorro – Aplomado Falcon
In 2016, Zorro was hatched in Washington state and was brought to World Bird Sanctuary. He is of Peruvian decent and still has his juvenile colors. Zorro is being trained to fly for education programs and is a very fast learner.
He recently began lure flying! He has a very patient, gentle and calm demeanor. When he’s not training or out on education programs, Zorro can be found resting at one our weathering areas.
Species: Aplomado Falcon
Scientific Name: Falco femoralis
Description: has a steel grey back, red breast, black “sash” on its belly, and striking black markings on the top of its head, around its eyes, and extending down its face. Juvenile has brown upperparts, streaked breast, and cinnamon-brown underparts.
Age: up to 20 years in captivity
Weight: 6-14 oz.
Habitat: require open grassland or savannah habitat with scattered trees or shrubs.
Range: Aplomado falcons were once found throughout the southwestern United States including Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. They are now found in Mexico, Central and South America down through Chili and Argentina. Not too long ago they disappeared from much of their North American range. After 1952, there were no known nests in the United States. In the early 1990s The Peregrine Fund began reintroducing them and now there is a breeding population in southern Texas.
Behavior: most often seen in pairs. They do not build their own nests, but use stick nests built by other birds. Laying one to three eggs, both the male and the female will incubate, though the female does most of it. The male is in charge of finding food for himself and his mate. Eggs typically hatch in 5 weeks. The young falcons tend to stay in their parents’ territory for one to two months.
Diet: work together in pairs to find prey and flush it from cover. They eat mostly birds and insects. They are also known to pirate food from larger birds. If they see another raptor carrying prey, they will chase after it, dive bomb it, and generally harass it until it drops its prey.
Vocalization: “keeh-keeh-keeh”, “kiih”
- “Aplomado” is a Spanish word for “lead-colored”, referring to the blue-gray areas of the plumage.
- The Aplomado Falcon was placed on the Endangered Species List in 1986 and is the last falcon in the United States currently on this list.