The Aplomado Falcon is a medium-sized falcon of southern North America. Once it bred throughout the southwestern United States, but now it is sparingly seen north of the Mexican-American border. The Aplomado breeds throughout Mexico, Central America, Panama and most of South America.
The Aplomado falcon is 12-16 inches long, which is not very large (about the size of the Cooper's Hawk). The Aplomado appears much like a small peregrine falcon, except for some differences. The male Aplomado has a dark blue back and tail, a dark cap and dark stripes running down the face. Unlike the Peregrine, the Aplomado has a white streak running over the eye. The undersides are white, except for the belly and thighs, which are brown. The immatures are similar to the adults except for the breast, which is white-streaked-black, a white belly and black thighs.
The Aplomado prefers deserts, grasslands, prairie and savanna. There has never been a report of the Aplomado building its own nest; most are abandoned or taken by force. Eggs are laid between January and June. Clutches are usually made up of 2-3 eggs. The eggs are white and heavily spotted with cinnamon. They are incubated by 31-32 days by both parents. In 4-5 weeks the nestlings can fly; it gradually ranges out farther but returns to the nest for about a month, then strikes out on its own.
Although Aplomados are not monogamous, they will hunt and fly together all year. Cooperative hunting takes place usually while chasing feathered prey. The Aplomado is mainly a bird-eating falcon, like most, but will also prey on insects, small mammals and other vertibrates. The Aplomado is not selective when preying on birds; if it is small enough to capture, they will eat it. Most birds are songbirds and no larger than doves.
The Aplomado is officially listed as "endangered" in the United States.