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Pacific Baza

From Opus

Alternative names: Crested Hawk, Baza, Pacific Cuckoo-Falcon

Photo by Tom TarrantSamsonvale, Queensland, October 2002
Photo by Tom Tarrant
Samsonvale, Queensland, October 2002
Aviceda subcristata


[edit] Identification

MalePhoto by Hans&Judy BesteGold Coast, Queensland, Australia, September 2013
Photo by Hans&Judy Beste
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, September 2013

35–46 cm; long tail and prominent crest

  • Grey head, neck and breast
  • White underparts with bold dark banding
  • Short legs
  • Yellow eyes

The female is heavier and browner on the crown than the male.

[edit] Distribution

Northern and eastern Australia, Indo-Malayan peninsula, New Guinea and nearby islands and the Solomon Islands.

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

JuvenilePhoto by MzunguSandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, January 2018
Photo by Mzungu
Sandy Camp Rd Wetlands, Queensland, Australia, January 2018

There are 13 subspecies[1]:

  • A. s. timorlaoensis: Lesser Sundas and islands off Sulawesi
  • A. s. pallida: Seram Laut (Manawoka and Gorong) and Kai Islands
  • A. s. reinwardtii: South Moluccas (Boano, Seram, Ambon and Haruku)
  • A. s. stresemanni: Buru (central Moluccas)
  • A. s. rufa: Moluccas (Morotai, Halmahera, Ternate, Tidore, Bacan and Obi)
  • A. s. waigeuensis: Waigeo Island (off northern New Guinea)
  • A. s. obscura: Biak Island (off northern New Guinea)
  • A. s. stenozona: Aru Islands and western New Guinea
  • A. s. megala: Eastern New Guinea
  • A. s. coultasi: Admiralty Islands
  • A. s. bismarckii: Bismarck Archipelago
  • A. s. gurneyi: Solomon Islands
  • A. s. subcristata: Northern and eastern Australia

[edit] Habitat

Rain and swamp forests and forest edges, mangroves, grasslands, farmlands and urban areas. They prefer well-watered areas.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Omnivorous. Their mains diet includes large insects, particularly stick insects and mantids, frogs, lizards and fruit.

[edit] Breeding

The nest is flimsy and flat and made of sticks; it is placed high in the upper leafy branches of a tree. The clutch consists of 2-4 eggs. Both adults brood and feed the chicks.

[edit] Vocalisation

Loud, high pitched "eee-chew." Noisy during breeding season.

[edit] Movements

Mostly sedentary. Extreme southern SE populations in Australia are partly migratory.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from
  2. Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 6 November 2019).
  3. Birds in Backyards
  4. Global Raptor Information Network. 2019. Species account: Pacific Baza Aviceda subcristata. Downloaded from on 6 Nov. 2019
  5. Gregory, P. (2017) Birds of New Guinea, Including Bismarck Archipelago and Boughainville. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.

[edit] External Links


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