The Peregrine Fund Home
Sign In
The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field
Orange-breasted Falcon Project Update—March 2005
Angel Muela — in Orange-breasted Falcon Project    Share
Adult Orange-breasted Falcon at its nest.
Adult Orange-breasted Falcon at its nest.
Due to the very low success rate of nests last year in Belize, out of nine nests, only one chick was seen to fledge successfully, this year we decided to collect and hatch Orange-breasted Falcon (OBF) eggs instead of collecting chicks. Our goal is to obtain three females to complete our captive-breeding stock at the Neotropical Raptor Center in Panama. Collecting eggs early during incubation decreases the probability of natural predation and increases the chances of successfully collecting the young birds that we need. Also, by taking eggs, the likelihood that the pair would lay another clutch of eggs in the same breeding season is high, thus potentially duplicating the production of OBF eggs for that year. Our plan, then, is to keep any females that hatch and to release the males back into the forests of Belize.

Orange-breasted Falcon eggs at nest.
Orange-breasted Falcon eggs at nest.
So far, the Orange-breasted Falcon season is off to an early start this year. Marta and I visited the first Orange-breasted Falcon nest and were very happy to see that the pair at that site had already laid three beautiful eggs. Without much delay we made arrangements to collect those eggs and promptly transport them to our facilities in Panama.

Climbing on limestone cliffs is always dangerous. The sharp edges of the rocks could easily cut through the ropes we use to descend. In addition, loose rocks are always falling and could potentially hurt a climber that inadvertently gets in the way. We always take every precaution to minimize risks to ourselves and to the birds. While Marta belayed me, I descended some 50 meters to the ledge where the nest was located. Very carefully I placed the eggs into a specially designed container, and began ascending to the top of the wall. Once there, I put the eggs into a portable incubator, while Marta began packing the climbing gear. As soon as everything was ready we drove back to Belize City and prepared to head to Panama with our precious cargo.

Once in Panama we brought the eggs to our facility and they are now under the care of Saskia Santamaria and Mary Schwartz, our captive breeding specialists. All three eggs seem to be fertile and, hopefully, in a few days will hatch three Orange-breasted Falcon chicks.

Orange-breasted Falcon eggs in incubator.
Orange-breasted Falcon eggs in incubator.

Find more articles about Orange-breasted Falcon, Neotropics

Most Recent Entries Atom feedshow-hide

Our Authorsshow-hide

Our Conservation Projectsshow-hide

Species we work withshow-hide

Where we workshow-hide

Unknown column 'Hits' in 'field list'
Support our work - Donate