New Guinea Hawk-eagle (Hieraaetus weiskei)

New Guinea Hawk-eagle

[order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Hieraaetus weiskei | [authority] Reichenow, 1900 | [UK] New Guinea Hawk-eagle | [FR] Aigle de Weiske | [DE] Weiskeadler | [ES] Aguila de Weiske | [NL] Guinea Kuifarend


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Hieraaetus are small to medium-sized eagles, with long and pointed wings; a longish tail, and feathered legs. They are very active eagles, not given to eating carrion, and found usually in lightly forested country. The genus is difficult to separate from Aquila, Spizastur and Spizaetus. Some species have at one time or another been placed in more than one genus, and some references combine Hieraaetus with Aquila. The main species are: Hieraaetus fasciatus of southern Eurasia, the Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus of Eurasia, Hieraaetus morphnoides of Australia and the New Guinea race – Hieraaetus morphnoides weiskei, the smallest of all the booted eagles; Hieraaetus dubius of Africa and Hieraaetus kienerii of India.

Physical charateristics

Smallish Hawk-Eagle recognized by underwing pattern with greater coverts very light. Probably in two morphs, light and dark. Dark breast band like a buteo contradting with whitish belly,

wingspan min.: 112 cm wingspan max.: 126 cm
size min.: 45 cm size max.: 56 cm
incubation min.: 52 days incubation max.: 55 days
fledging min.: 93 days fledging max.: 55 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 0  
      eggs max.: 0  


Australasia : New Guinea, Halmahera, Seram


In New Guinea, it frequents primary forest, gallery forest, monsoon forest, and forest edges, usually seen soaring above the forest, flying low over the canopy, or perching fairly high up with a clear view


The breeding habits are poorly known. One member of a pair was observed performing ritual collecting of sticks and moss in the Baiyer River area in March, late in the wet season (Mackay 1980). The eggs are white or bluish-white, unmarked or sparsely streaked and blotched with reddish-brown

Feeding habits

Diet probably like congener A. morphnoides Little eagle consisting mammals birds and reptiles with an occasional large insect.


This species has a very 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 has not been quantified, 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.
New Guinea Hawk-eagle status Least Concern


Unknown, but probably non-migratory

Distribution map

New Guinea Hawk-eagle distribution range map

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