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Cryptic Forest Falcon
Micrastur mintoni

Status: Data Deficient

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Cryptic Forest-falcon.


Micrastur mintoni
click to enlarge
Distribution: Neotropical. Southeastern Amazonian portions of BRAZIL (Amazonas, Pará, Maranhão) and BOLIVIA (Santa Cruz) and a disjunct population in eastern BRAZIL (Bahia, Espírito Santo).

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Formerly confused with Micrastur gilvicollis and presumably closely related to that species, M. ruficollis, and M. plumbeus. Whittaker (2002) suggested that mintoni may prove to be most closely related to the latter species.

Movements: Probably non-migratory.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs principally in terra firme forest, including adjacent second-growth, and also in seasonally flooded forest in the Amazon basin.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Has been seen attending an army ant swarm, like other small Micrastur species, by Whittaker, who suspects that mintoni "will prove to be a generalist, eating a variety of reptiles and small invertebrates." He saw one bird drop from a perch to run on the ground, presumably in pursuit of prey.

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: The exciting discovery of this cryptic species was reported by Whittaker (2002), who first realized that it was a new form from its vocalizations. Subsequent examination of museum collections revealed a number of existing specimens that had been incorrectly identified as M. gilvicollis. Surveys of the remaining suitable habitat in eastern Brazil to confirm the continued existence of M. mintoni should be a high priority. It would also be useful to study the biology of the species in its more extensive southeastern Amazonian range, using the techniques that Russell Thorstrom perfected on M. semitorquatus and M. ruficollis in Guatemala. There is little information on the status of M. minotni, but it is likely that the disjunct population in eastern Brazil is critically endangered, if not already extirpated (Whittaker 2002), as a result of extensive deforestation. The last record from this region was a specimen collected in 1933. Populations in southeastern Amazonia are probably not immediately threatened. BirdLife International catagorizes it as a species Least Concern, but this cannot be based on actual populatoin information.

Important References: 
Whittaker, A. 2002. A new species of forest-falcon (Falconidae: Micrastur)
  from southeastern Amazonia and the Atlantic rainforests of Brazil. Wilson
  Bulletin 114:421-445.
Whittaker, A. 2004. Noteworthy ornithological records from Rondônia,
  Brazil, including a first country record, comments on austral migration,
  life history, taxonomy and distribution, with relevant data from
  neighbouring states, and a first record for Bolivia. Bulletin of the
  British Ornithologists' Club 124:239-271.
Whittaker, A. 2009. Pousada Rio Roosevelt: a provisional avifaunal
  inventory in south-western Amazonian Brazil, with information on life
  history, new distributional data and comments on taxonomy. Cotinga 31:23-46.

Sites of Interest:
Xeno-canto
Vocalizations.
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Researchers:
Gómez, César
Whittaker, Andrew

Last modified: 2/17/2011

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2014. Species account: Cryptic Forest Falcon Micrastur mintoni. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 21 Apr. 2014








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