HBW Alive provides full accounts for every bird species known to science up to June 2013, including distribution maps and color illustrations. Explore these sample species to better understand the monumental work that lies behind these pages.

Come back often! The sample species are being rotated every month.

Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)


Falco Isidori

Des Murs, 1845, Bogotá, Colombia.

Previously placed in monotypic genus Oroaetus, but recent phylogenetic study found this species to be nested among the New World Spizaetus...

Descriptive notes: 60–80 cm, wingspan 144–166 cm. Large, stocky eagle with relatively short tail but long wings. Head, crest, neck and upperparts black, below chestnut streaked with black; thighs black, feathered tarsi chestnut; tail...
figure, drawing, illustration of Black-and-chestnut Eagle (Spizaetus isidori)

Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)


Falco rusticolus

Linnaeus, 1758, Sweden.

Closest to F. cherrug; genetic data indicate that these two, along with F. biarmicus and F. jugger, form a group of closely...

Descriptive notes: 48–60 cm; male 769–1450 g, female 1130–2150 g; wingspan 105–135 cm. The largest Falco, with larger head, deeper chest, relatively short but broad outer wings and longer tail than other large falcons....
figure, drawing, illustration of Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus)

Swinhoe’s Rail (Coturnicops exquisitus)


Porzana exquisita

Swinhoe, 1873, Yantai (Chefoo), Shandong, China.

Closely related to, and sometimes considered conspecific with, C. noveboracensis. Taxa clearly close, with present species differing from ...

Descriptive notes: 13 cm. Sexes alike. Differs from markedly larger C. noveboracensis by greyer face, with close dark speckling and less distinct stripe through eye; feather edges of upperparts darker, more rufous-tinged; foreneck and sides of breast...
figure, drawing, illustration of Swinhoe’s Rail (Coturnicops exquisitus)

Zapata Rail (Cyanolimnas cerverai)


Cyanolimnas cerverai

Barbour and J. L. Peters, 1927, Santo Tomás, Península de Zapata, Cuba.


Descriptive notes: 29 cm. Apparently almost flightless; wings very short; tail short and decomposed. Dark rail without streaks or spots, faintly barred on lower belly and thighs and has white undertail-coverts. Sexes alike. Easily separable by plumage...
figure, drawing, illustration of Zapata Rail (Cyanolimnas cerverai)

Central American Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium griseiceps)


Glaucidium griseiceps

Sharpe, 1875, tropical lowlands of Alta Vera Paz, Guatemala.

Considered a member of G. minutissimum complex, which includes also G. palmarum, G. sanchezi, G. parkeri and G....

Descriptive notes: 13–18 cm; male 50·6–58·8 g, female c. 56 g. Very small pygmy-owl; crown and nape brown-grey to grey-brown; forecrown with fine pale buff to whitish spots (can extend back to nape); nape with dark “...
figure, drawing, illustration of Central American Pygmy-owl (Glaucidium griseiceps)