Laughing Falcon

About the Laughing Falcon
Also known as: Snake Hawk

The Laughing Falcon, also known as the "snake hawk," is a medium-sized bird of prey distinguished by its unique creamy-white head, a broad black mask, and a mostly brown body. This falcon is well-known for its distinct call that resembles human laughter, which resonates through the Central and South American forests where it predominantly resides.

This species specializes in hunting snakes, including venomous ones, which makes up a significant part of its diet. The Laughing Falcon uses its strong talons to seize snakes and its sharp beak to deliver precise strikes to the head, immobilizing its prey effectively. Apart from snakes, it also hunts lizards, small rodents, and insects.

Laughing Falcons are usually found in open habitats such as clearings, edges of forests, and along rivers. They often perch conspicuously on a high, exposed branch from where they can spot their prey. When it comes to nesting, they prefer existing cavities in trees or cliff faces rather than constructing their own nests.

The bird’s iconic laugh serves as both a territorial claim and a mating call. The eerie, echoing quality of the call contributes to the mystique of this solitary and impressive raptor.

Details & Statistics

International Names

Birdorable Laughing Falcon