At a mere 160 mm total length and with a wingspan of only 250 mm, this micro-raptor is among the world's smallest birds of prey. This species is found only in the Philippines.
It is often seen perched in the canopy, from which it swoops to catch insects and small vertebrates, sometimes in mid-air. It has oversized claws (relative to its body size) to grab and hold its quarry tightly. Its serrated upper mandible is suited well to tear into the flesh of its prey.
This individual was peched near the top level of a tall tree when I saw it as I was birding in my vehicle along a trail at Subic rainforest. I got out of the car to shoot hand held, and the 500 f4's effective image stabilizer allowed me to get sharp captures even at a relatively slow shutter speed of 1/250 sec.
Philippine Falconet (Microhierax erythrogenys, a Philippine endemic)
Habitat - Open forest and edge, perches in the canopy or on dead trees.
|Shooting Info - Subic rainforest, Zambales, Philippines, July 21, 2007, Canon 20D + EF 500 f4 IS + Canon 1.4x TC II,|
700 mm, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, f/7.1, manual exposure in available light, hand held.