Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizastur melanoleucus)

Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Spizastur melanoleucus | [authority] Vieillot, 1816 | [UK] Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle | [FR] Aigle noir et blanc | [DE] | [ES] aguila-azor Blanquinegra | [NL] Zwart-witte Kuifarend


Genus Species subspecies Region Range
Spizaetus melanoleucus LA s Mexico to ne Argentina


The genus Spizaetus is a genus of ten species. It is a tropical genus of forest eagles, closely related to a couple of other genera of specialised eagles. There is a large variation in size – members of this genus range from small to rather large eagles, and are variable in their proportions. The common thread is to be found in their basic outline – they are all slender birds with short, rounded wings and rounded tails (well adapted to manoeuvre through dense forest). Most, but not all, are crested.

Physical charateristics

Black and white Eagle with a small crest forming a black spot on white head. Head, neck and body white. Wings black with a black-dark grey barred brownish tail with white tip. Iris orange, feet bright yellow. Sexes similar only female is larger.

Listen to the sound of Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle

[audio: Hawk-Eagle.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: cm wingspan max.: cm
size min.: 51 cm size max.: 61 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Latin America : South Mexico to Northeast Argentina


Prefers forested areas in tropical and subtropical zones. Mainly with open country or rivers nearby. In Brazil also in savannas.


Nest in forest in canopy about 40 meter up. Made of sticks and with view of forest and open country.

Feeding habits

Mammals, toads, reptiles and several species of birds, mostly passerines. Stoops from high soar in to the canopy.

Video Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle


copyright: youtube


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Ranges South Central America to North South America east of Andes. In Suriname a rare forest bird, sometimes seen in the coastal area.
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle status Least Concern


Not known

Distribution map

Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle distribution range map

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