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Barred Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Mark Harper
Buenaventura, Ecuador, May 2007
Morphnarchus princeps


51–57 cm (20-22½ in)

  • Slate black head, upperparts, and chest
  • Underparts and wing-linings white with fine black barring
  • Black, short, square tail with complete median white band
  • Brown iris
  • Yellow cere and legs

Juveniles similar with white scaling on wing-coverts


Found from Costa Rica and Panama south to Ecuador and Peru.


Photo by Peter Dexter Hoell
Dapa, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, November 2013

This is a monotypic species[1].
Formerly placed in the genus Leucopternis.


Canopy and edges of humid mountain forests. Rarely seen on Colombian coastal plains.


They sit on exposed perches at forest edges; usually alone though sometimes in pairs or small groups.

They soar high above the forest, calling frequently and performing aerial displays.


Their diet consists of snakes, frogs, large insects and crabs; occasionally mammals and birds. In forest interiors they ambush their prey when it comes close to their perch (a practise known as still-hunting).


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. TrekNature
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2016)
  5. BF Member observations
  6. Birdforum thread discussing among other things the reassignment of this species to new genus
  7. Restall

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.