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Our gallery includes exclusive rare pictures from Belize and Guatemala of the orange-breasted falcon (Falco deiroleucus), one of the rarest species in the world. It is an isolated and vulnerable population, most likely in decline. The pure white throat contrasts with a broad band of orange-rufous across the upper breast. Relative to its body size, the female Orange-breasted Falcon appears to have the largest feet of any falcon. It also has an unusually large beak. In Central America, the Orange-breasted Falcon is absent everywhere south of Belize and Guatemala and found again only in the farthest corner of Panama. Its absence from many countries that contain seemingly suitable habitat is one of the greatest mysteries of falcon and Neotropical bird conservation. Formerly occurring across Central and South America, now they occupy just 4% of their former range in Central America where a small population of fewer than 40 pairs persist in the Maya Mountains of Belize and the nearby Mirador Cordillera of Guatemala. The Orange-breasted Falcon female is nearly twice the size of her mate – a greater size difference than that of all other 39 falcon species. The male takes smaller quarry, and the female captures larger prey. These falcons are extremely fast flyers and though no study has been done to measure their speed, biologists who have observed these birds in fast pursuit believe they could even be faster than the Peregrine Falcon.
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