The smallest raptor
Size isn’t everything, as proved by this pint-sized raptor
While many raptors are impressively large, others are adorably tiny. The black-thighed falconet’s diminutive dimensions make it the smallest bird of prey at a mere 17 centimetres (6.7 inches) in length.
It might be cute, but looks can be deceiving. The black-thighed falconet’s hunting skills make it a frightening prospect for the insects, lizards and birds it feeds on. Unlike most birds of prey, falconets hunt in groups, scouring forests, rivers and human-inhabited areas for smaller creatures to snack on.
The falconet’s small size means it’s able to take advantage of ready-made nest holes – these raptors frequently roost in holes previously occupied by barbets or woodpeckers, laying and incubating small clutches of eggs inside them.