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Leucopternis melanops

Black-faced Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Monotypic


Leucopternis melanops

Sao Gabriel de Cachoeira, Amazonas, Brazil; 1 August 2004 © Arthur Grosset

The Black-faced Hawk is a rather small, black and white hawk of northern South America. It is white below and on the head, with black wings, black eye patches, a black tail with a single white band near the base, and orange cere and legs. It closely resembles the White-browed Hawk (Leucopternis kuhli), but has less black streaking on the head and neck and white spots on the back. These two species were long thought to be allopatric, with Black-faced distributed north of the Amazon River and White-browed to the south. Recent evidence indicates that Black-faced also is present south of the Amazon River, in some areas apparently in sympatry with White-browed. Both species occur in the interior and edges of tall lowland forest. Like other Leucopternis hawks, it apparently feeds on reptiles, although very little information is available. The nest and breeding behavior of this species are undescribed.


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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Black-faced Hawk (Leucopternis melanops), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Amphibians and Reptiles
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern