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Mantled Hawk
Pseudastur polionotus

Status: Near Threatened

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: Leucopternis polionotus, Leucopternis polionota, Mantled Buzzard

Pseudastur polionotus
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Distribution: Neotropical.  Eastern BRAZIL (Alagoas, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul) and possibly PARAGUAY. 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, and these results were mainly confirmed by Lerner et al. (2008). The predominantly black and white plumage shared by several species has evolved at least twice. This species has been traditionally regarded as forming a superspecies with L. albicollis and L. occidentalis and has sometimes been lumped with the former species. Amaral et al. (2006) found a close relationship between these taxa and showed that they represent a clade separate from other Leucopternis species. The recent phylogenetic studies of Lerner et al. (2008) showed a close relationship between the trans-Andean (west of the Andes) races of the White Hawk, L. albicollis, and L. occidentalis of western Ecuador, but the nominate race, L.a. albicollis is more closely related to L. polionotus than to the other subspecies traditionally assigned to L. albicollis. David and Gosselin (2002) pointed out that the generic name Leucopternis is masculine, hence the change from ""polionota" to polionotus.

Movements: Irruptive or local migrant (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Inhabits humid forests, second growth, and Parána Pine (Araucaria angustifolia) mixed woodland from sea level to at least 1,500 m (Sick 1985). Occurs mostly at middle level elevations. Birds soar frequently throughout the day, or sit on exposed perches in the upper half of living or dead trees, usually on the upper half of forested slopes (Seipke et al. 2006).

Food and Feeding Behavior: Salvador (2010) provided the most comprehensive review of prey reported to be taken by this species. Birds up to the size of cracids and parrots seem to be the most frequent prey, followed by snakes, lizards, guinea pigs, and rodents. Salvador (op cit.) observed one pair of birds that foraged by perching over forest edges and cleared areas and capturing prey on the ground. Snakes were carried in the bill by flying birds, and videos were obtained of both members of the pair feeding while soaring. more....

Breeding: As yet, there is little information on the breeding biology of this speces. Willis and Oniki (2002) reported a pair building a nest high in a tree on a slope in Espírito Santo on 11 July 1993. Canuto (2010) reported strong territorial behavior accompanied by loud vocalizations. A pair was observed engaging in mutual flight displays and exhibiting territorial behavior by Salvador (2010) at a site undergoing deforestation in Minas Gerais from September to November 2008, but he was unable to confirm the presence of an active nest.

Conservation: The global status of the Mantled Hawk is poorly understood, but it is unquestionably uncommon or rare throughout most, or all, of its range, which is suffering massive deforestation (Salvador 2010). It is considered probably Threatened in the State of Rio de Janeiro (Bergallo et al. 2000), Near Threatened in Paraná (Mikich and Bérnils 2004), Vulnerable in São Paulo (Salvador op cit.) and Espírito Santo (Simon et al. 2007), Endangered in Rio Grande do Sul (Marques et al. 2002) and Critically Endangered in Minas Gerais (COPAM 2008), but it is probably less threatened than the similar White-necked Hawk (L. lacernulatus). BirdLife International categorizes this species as Near Threatened. more....

Important References: 
Amadon, D. 1964. Taxonomic notes on birds of prey. American Museum
  Novitates no. 2166.
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.
Beltrán, J. 1985. Nuestras aves amenazadas. 5. El Aguilucho Blanco
  (Leucopternis polionota). Nuestra Aves(6):16-17.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Mantled Hawk. P. 170 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.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Lerner, H.R.L., M.C. Klaver, and D.P. Mindell. 2008. Molecular
  phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk
Martuscelli, P. 1996. Hunting behavior of the Mantled Hawk Leucopternis
and the White-necked Hawk L. lacernulata in southeastern
  Brazil. Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club 116:114-116.
Pinto, O.M.O. 1978. [New catalogue of the birds of Brazil. First part.
  Non-Passeriformes and oscine Passeriformes, excluding the
  family Tyrannidae]. Published by the author, São Paulo, Brazil. (In
Salvador, L.F., Jr. 2010. Behaviour and diet of the Mantled Hawk
  Leucopternis polionotus (Accipitridae; Buteoninae) during deforestation
  of an Atlantic Rainforest landscape in southeast Brazil. Revista Brasileira
  de Ornitologia 18:68-71.
Seipke, S.H., D. Kajiwara, and J.B.L. Albuquerque. 2006. Field
  identification of Mantled Hawk Leucopternis polionotus. Neotropical Birding
Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University
  Press, Princeton, NJ.
Willis, E.O., and Y. Oniki. 2002. [Birds of São Paulo State]. Divisa, Rio
  Claro, Brazil. (In Portuguese)

Sites of Interest:
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Useful species account.

Albuquerque, Jorge
Canuto, Marcus
Raposo do Amaral, Fábio
Shrum, Peggy
Zorzin, Giancarlo

Last modified: 9/3/2015

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Mantled Hawk Pseudastur polionotus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 25 Sep. 2020

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