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1 December 2014 Predation of Small-bodied Mammals (Callithrix and Kerodon) by Laughing Falcons (Herpetotheres cachinnans) in the semi-arid Caatinga Scrub Forest of the Brazilian Northeast
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Abstract

Laughing Falcons (Herpetotheres cachinnans), are known to feed primarily on snakes, although there are reports in the literature of the falcons feeding on other prey. In the present study in the semi-arid scrublands of the Brazilian Caatinga, two predation events were recorded in which Laughing Falcons captured small-bodied mammals, a marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) and a rock cavy (Kerodon rupestris), both estimated to be approximately 200–300 g in weight. In both cases, the mammals were juveniles; the falcon swooped down to capture the prey in its talons, then it flew off to feed some distance away. While these events suggest a shift in the feeding niche of the falcon in response to local conditions, the number of observations is too small to permit definitive conclusions on this phenomenon.

2014 by the Wilson Ornithological Society
Tacyana D. Amora and Stephen F. Ferrari "Predation of Small-bodied Mammals (Callithrix and Kerodon) by Laughing Falcons (Herpetotheres cachinnans) in the semi-arid Caatinga Scrub Forest of the Brazilian Northeast," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 126(4), 771-775, (1 December 2014). https://doi.org/10.1676/13-149.1
Received: 11 September 2013; Accepted: 1 June 2014; Published: 1 December 2014
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