Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Iliff, Marshall J.


Conservation Status

As an uncommon to rare large forest raptor with low productivity (at most one young every two years) and a dependence on extensive tracts of forest, this species is certainly vulnerable. Declines and local extirpations have been noted in many areas and continued trends of development and forest clearing ensure that the global population will continue to decline. In addition, shooting of raptors still occurs in Latin America (e.g., Iñigo-Elias et al. 1987) and is a serious threat to forest raptors with small populations.

However, given the species' very large range and estimated population of 10,000 to 100,000, it is considered to be of Least Concern (Birdlife International 2010); although declines are cited, they are not believed to be steep enough to approach the thresholds for "Vulnerable".  In Mexico, however, it is considered "en peligro de extinción" (in danger of extinction) (NOM-059-ECOL-2001).

Effects of human activity on populations

Habitat destruction and hunting clearly have had detrimental effects on the population of Ornate Hawk-Eagles. The overall range of the species has been much reduced and it has already disappeared from several areas at the periphery of its range (e.g., Colima, Mexico; Tumbes, Peru; and parts of Ecuador; see Historical Changes under Distribution).

Recommended Citation

Iliff, Marshall J. 2010. Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.