Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blyth's Hawk-Eagle

Nisaetus alboniger
The Blyth's Hawk-Eagle is a really funky looking bird of prey, with a tall black crest and a black and white spotted breast. They are considered small for Eagles, but are medium-sized when compared to all birds of prey, sporting body lengths just short of 2ft. The common name for the bird comes from Edward Blyth, an English zoologist who was the curator of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

You can find the Blyth's Hawk-Eagle in parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore. They live inside and on the fringes of lowland and low mountain forests, living at altitudes of less than 1800m. They hunt from perches of a variety of heights, taking animals like small reptiles and bats.

When it comes to breeding, the Hawk-Eagles build very large, deep nests. So deep, in fact, that an adult bird can sit in the nest and not be seen from eye level! They lay only one egg at a time, but the exact incubation period and time to fledge is unknown.

Blyth's Hawk-Eagles, along with other members of their genus, used to be classified within Spizaetus, the group that New World Hawk-Eagles belong to. However, recent molecular studies have shown that the New World and Old World birds should belong to two different genera, and thus the Blyth's and their close relatives were all moved to Nisaetus.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Southeast Asia
Size : Length up to 21in (55cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Accipitriformes
Family : Accipitridae -- Genus : Nisaetus -- Species : N. alboniger

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