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White-browed Hawk
Leucopternis kuhli

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: 

Leucopternis kuhli
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Distribution: Neotropical. Eastern PERU, northern BOLIVIA (Pando), and Amazonian BRAZIL south of the Rio Amazon. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Using sequences from four mitochondrial genes, Amaral et al. (2006) found that the genus Leucopternis, as traditionally arranged, is not monophyletic and that it is a composite of three independent lineages. For the most part, the study of Lerner et al. (2008), using both mitochondrial and nuclear genes, confirmed this finding. The predominantly black and white plumage shared by several species has evolved at least twice. Thiollay (1994) suggested that this species is closely related to L. lacernulatus, but the molecular results show that they are in different clades (Amaral et al. op cit.. Lerner et al. op cit.). Most authorities suggest that the trans-Andean (west of the Andes) L. semiplumbeus forms a sister clade with the cis-Andean (east of the Andes) L. melanops/L. kuhli complex. In their analysis, Amaral (op cit.) showed that this clade is also sister to Buteo buteo, B. albicaudatus, B. (Rupornis) magnirostris, and Parabuteo unicinctus. Pinto (1979) regarded this species as conspecific with L. melanops, and Stresemann and Amadon 1979) regarded L. kuhli and L. melanops as sister species. This close relationship was confirmed by the recent molecular studies, but it is not yet possible to assume a lack of gene flow between L. melanops and L. kuhli, since hybrid individuals may occur (Amaral et al. op cit, Lerner et al. op cit.).

Movements: Probably non-migratory.

Habitat and Habits: Found in humid lowland forests.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Apparently feeds on snakes, lizards, and insects, judging from the data on specimen labels in the collection of Louisiana State University (Robinson 1994). In Bolivia, one was captured when it descended on a woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus spixi) from a net, and its stomach contained the remains of several small birds (Maillard et al. 2007).

Breeding: The only details on breeding by this species were provided by Kirwan (2009), who found an active nest at Tupana Lodge, about 150 km south of Manaus in the Brazilian Amazon. The nest was discovered on 18 December about 15 m high in the fork within the subcanopy of a canopy height tree in terra firme forest with a dense understory. The nest was "an untidy, near-hexagonal structure constructed of sticks and some smaller twigs, and "adorned" with a handful of dead leaves on its outer walls." One of the adults was seen on the nest, probably incubating eggs.

Conservation: Poorly known, but widespread. Categorized as "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2007).

Important References: 
Amaral, F.S., M.J. Miller, L.F. Silveira, E., Bermingham, and A. Wajntal.
  2006. Polyphyly of the hawk genera Leucopternis and Buteogallus (Aves,
  Accipitridae): multiple habitat shifts during the Neotropical buteonine
  diversification. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6:1-10.
Amaral, F.S.R., L.F. Silveira, and B.M. Whitney. 2007. New localities for
  the Black-faced Hawk (Leucopternis melanops) south of the Amazon River and
  description of the immature plumage of the White-browed Hawk (Leucopternis
Barlow, J., T. Haugaasen, and C.A. Peres. 2002. Sympatry of Black-faced
  Leucopternis melanops and White-browed Hawks L. kuhli along the Lower Rio
  Tapajs, Pará, Brazil. Cotinga 18:77-79.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. White-browed Hawk. P. 169 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1995. The biology and conservation status of Central and
  South American Falconiformes: a survey of current knowledge. Bird
  Conservation International 5:325-340.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Kirwan, G.M. 2009. First nesting record of the White-browed Hawk
  (Leucopternis kuhli) from the Madeira-Purus interfluvium, Brazilian
  Amazonia, with some remarks on plumage variation. Ornitologia Neotropical
Lerner, H.R.L., M.C. Klaver, and D.P. Mindell. 2008. Molecular
  phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk
Lerner, H.R., and D.P. Mindell. 2005. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World
  vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:327-346.
Pinto, O.M. de O. 1979, Novo catálogo das aves do Brasil, Parte 1. São
  Paulo, Brazil.

Sites of Interest:
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Raposo do Amaral, Fábio
Shrum, Peggy
Silveira, Luis Fabio

Last modified: 9/12/2009

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: White-browed Hawk Leucopternis kuhli. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 1 Jun. 2020

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