Bird GuideFalconsAplomado Falcon

At a Glance

This trim, elegant falcon once nested in desert grassland of the southwest, but it has been very rare north of the Mexican border since the 1920s or before. Recently a few have reappeared in New Mexico and western Texas, and there has been a major attempt to reintroduce the species in southern Texas.
Falcons, Hawk-like Birds
Low Concern
Desert and Arid Habitats, Fields, Meadows, and Grasslands, Freshwater Wetlands, Shrublands, Savannas, and Thickets
Southwest, Texas
Direct Flight, Rapid Wingbeats, Soaring

Range & Identification


15-18" (38-45.5 cm). W. 40-48 (102-122 cm). Black side patches almost meet on lower breast; belly and thighs rufous. Long blackish tail has narrow white bars. Juvenile is browner. Juvenile Prairie Falcon sometimes shows extensive black side patches, but lacks rufous thighs and white trailing edge on inner part of wing. Juvenile Swainson's Hawk also can look surprisingly similar to Aplomado.
About the size of a Crow, About the size of a Mallard or Herring Gull
Black, Blue, Gray, Red, Tan, White, Yellow
Wing Shape
Long, Pointed, Tapered
Tail Shape
Long, Rounded, Square-tipped

Songs and Calls

A rapid kak-kak-kak-kak.
Call Pattern
Falling, Flat, Rising, Simple
Call Type

Climate Vulnerability

Conservation Status

Climate Map

Audubon’s scientists have used 140 million bird observations and sophisticated climate models to project how climate change will affect the range of the Aplomado Falcon. Learn even more in our Audubon’s Survival By Degrees project.

Climate Threats Facing the Aplomado Falcon

Choose a temperature scenario below to see which threats will affect this species as warming increases. The same climate change-driven threats that put birds at risk will affect other wildlife and people, too.

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