Philippine Falconet (Microhierax erythrogenys)

Philippine Falconet

[order] FALCONIFORMES | [family] Falconidae | [latin] Microhierax erythrogenys | [authority] Vigors, 1831 | [UK] Philippine Falconet | [FR] Fauconnet des Philippines | [DE] Zweifarben-Falkchen | [ES] Falconete Filipino | [NL] Filippijnse Dwergvalk


Monotypic species


Members of the genus Microhierax are the smallest of falcons. Their wings are pointed, the tail rounded and of medium length. The bill tends to be heavy with a well-developed tooth. Considering the size of the birds, they have very heavy feet and sharp, well curved talons. They are mostly boldly patterned and are often glossy black on the back. Immatures are not very different.
The genus is closely related to the other falconets Polihierax and Spiziapteryx. There are five species distributed from India to the Philippines.

Physical charateristics

Typical falconet, one of the smallest raptors in the world. It has all black upperparts and a black hood. Cheeks, throat and underparts white. Has no rufous in plumage as all other falconets have expect the Pied Falconet. The latter, however is larger and has black cheeks with a white border. Tail and beak black.

Listen to the sound of Philippine Falconet

[audio: Falconet.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 15 cm size max.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 0 days incubation max.: 0 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 2  
      eggs max.: 5  


Oriental Region : Philippines


Found in open forest, clearings, and forest edges from lowlands to mid-montane forests. Occurs, singly, in pairs, or in family groups, and stays in the canopy or upper branches of dead trees on an exposed perch. Also found this species in large tracts of lowland and upper dipterocarp primary forest and selectively logged areas from 300 to 1,200 m in areas of Luzon and Mindanao.


Breeding has been recorded from September to February (Miranda ca. 1990) and in October and from March to June. Nests are located in cavities in dead trees at forest edges from 6-8 m high. As many as four young are reared. CLutch size is 3-4 eggs.

Feeding habits

Hawks prey from an exposed perch, usually a bare branch at the top of an emergent tree, capturing some in mid-air (dragonflies and small birds), some on trees (lizards), and others on the ground before returning to the original perch or a nearby one to feed. Like other falconets, this species does not hover or soar. Insects comprised over 99% of the diet and dragonflies were the most frequently captured prey item (69.4%). This species has also been observed feeding upside down on wasp nests. It sometimes forages communally, perhaps in family groups, and as many as six individuals may hunt from the same tree simultaneously.

Video Philippine Falconet


copyright: Eldert Groenewoud


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 may be small, 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.
Philippine Falconet status Least Concern


Presumed sedentary

Distribution map

Philippine Falconet distribution range map


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