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Semiplumbeous Hawk
Leucopternis semiplumbeus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Leucopternis semiplumbea.

Leucopternis semiplumbeus
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Distribution: Neotropical.  Northeastern HONDURAS (Gracias a Dios) south through the Caribbean slope of NICARAGUA, COSTA RICA, and PANAMA to western COLOMBIA and northwestern ECUADOR (Esmeraldas). 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. The predominantly black and white plumage shared by several species has evolved at least twice. According to their findings, this trans-Andean (west of the Andes) species 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 sister to a clade which includes Buteo buteo, B. albicaudatus, B. (Rupornis) magnirostris, and Parabuteo unicinctus. David and Gosselin (2002) pointed out that the generic name Leucopternis is masculine, hence the change from ""semiplumbea" to semiplumbeus.

Movements: Probably non-migratory.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowlands in understory and lower canopy of mature forest, riverine forest, old second growth, and cacao plantations, often at the forest edge, but rarely in the open. May sit for long periods in the early morning on exposed perches in the canopy, or on a perch at a medium height in the forest.  "Remarkably tame" (Hilty and Brown 1986), but easily overlooked. Wetmore (1965) also commented on the tameness of the species. Rarely soars. It is usually found singly, sometimes in two's.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on reptiles, frogs, small mammals, and birds. Does not soar above the canopy, but drops onto prey from a low perch. more....

Breeding: The nest is a platform of sticks placed high in the forest canopy (Stiles and Skutch 1989).  The eggs are probably not described.more....

Conservation: Little studied, but apparently common in appropriate habitat in at least some parts of its range. Collar et al. (1992, 1994) and Bierregaard (1994) classified this species as "Near-threatened," but Márquez Reyes et al. (2000) placed it in the "Lower Risk" category. Categorized as "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2004).. more....

Important References: 
Amaral, F.S.R., 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.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Semiplumbeous 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.
Boinski, S., and P.E. Scott. 1988. Association of birds with monkeys in
  Costa Rica. Biotropica 20:136-143.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Lawrence, G.N. 1861. Catalogue of a collection of birds, made in New
  Grenada, by James McLeannan, Esq., of New York, with notes and descriptions
  of new species. Part I. Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History in New York
Lerner, H.R.L., M.C. Klaver, and D.P. Mindell. 2008. Molecular
  phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk

Sites of Interest:
Semiplumbeous Hawk photos.

Campbell-Thompson, Edwin

Last modified: 9/12/2009

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Semiplumbeous Hawk Leucopternis semiplumbeus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 1 Jun. 2020

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