Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Black-faced Hawk (Leucopternis melanops)


French: Buse à face noire German: Zügelbussard Spanish: Busardo carinegro

Falco melanops


, 1790,



This species and L. kuhli are sister-species, with L. semiplumbeus their closest relative#R#R#R. Has been considered conspecific with L. kuhli, but the two are found sympatrically in Brazil (on lower R Tapajós)#R and in SE Peru#R. Monotypic.


S & SE Venezuela, the Guianas and Amazonia N of R Amazon to E Colombia, E Ecuador and N Peru. Occurrence S of Amazon in Brazil and SE Peru (Madre de Dios) confirmed#R#R, but still poorly known.

Descriptive notes

35–43 cm; male 297–317 g, female 329–380 g; wingspan 65–78 cm. Head, upper back and neck white, streaked black; wings and tail black, with wing... read more


Call is a high-pitched, piercing, down-slurred whistle "keeeuuuu", typically given a few times with... read more


Lowland rain forest; may favour dense vegetation along rivers and mangroves. Not known to soar... read more

Food and feeding

Very few data available, but probably reptiles to a greater or lesser extent. One bird observed eating snake on ground, having first... read more


No information available.


No information available; presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Status very poorly known; no global population estimate, but species suspected to be declining owing to deforestation.... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Black-faced Hawk (Leucopternis melanops). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 22 May 2019).