Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Cuckoo-hawk (Aviceda madagascariensis)


French: Baza malgache German: Lemurenweih Spanish: Baza malgache
Other common names: Madagascar Baza

Pernis Madagascariensis

A. Smith

, 1834,



Appears to be closely related to A. cuculoides, and possibly also to A. jerdoni and A. subcristata. Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

40–45 cm; wingspan 90–100 cm. Buteo-like on perch, but slow heavy flapping flight (using tail as rudder) is baza-like; has slight crest, large eyes (... read more


Gives quick, run-together series of “wik” notes that falter slightly at terminus; also... read more


Evergreen and dry deciduous forest from sea-level to 1600 m (reports to 1800 m) based on erroneous... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly small reptiles (e.g. chameleons and geckos), large insects and their larvae (grasshoppers, beetles, bees, wasps, cicadas, mantises... read more


Aerial display reported late Sept and mid Dec; flying straight above canopy then tilting sideways while fluttering the wings 3–6... read more


None recorded.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Formerly considered Near Threatened. Occurs throughout Madagascar and is fairly common in all forest zones, perhaps... read more

Recommended citation

Kemp, A.C. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Madagascar Cuckoo-hawk (Aviceda madagascariensis). 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 24 February 2020).