Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata)


French: Baza huppé German: Papuaweih Spanish: Baza australiano

Lepidogenys subcristatus


, 1838,

New South Wales, Australia


Has been thought probably part of a species-group with A. cuculoides, A. madagascariensis and A. jerdoni. Insular forms at W & E extremes of range tend to be smallest, but occurrence of pale and dark ones exhibits a more “chequerboard” pattern#R. Proposed races proxima (NW Solomon Is) and robusta (C Solomons) now considered better synonymized with gurneyi. NW Australian population, described as njikena, not safely separable from nominate. Thirteen subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. s. rufa (Schlegel, 1866) – N Moluccas (Halmahera and associated islands S to Bacan and Obi).
  • A. s. stresemanni (Siebers, 1930) – Buru (C Moluccas).
  • A. s. reinwardtii (Schlegel & S. Müller, 1841) – Seram and W satellites (Boana, Ambon, Haruku), in C Moluccas.
  • A. s. timorlaoensis (A. B. Meyer, 1893) – islands in Flores Sea off S Sulawesi, and Lesser Sundas (E to Damar, Babar and Tanimbar Is).
  • A. s. pallida (Stresemann, 1913) – S Moluccas (Seram Laut Is, Kai Is).
  • A. s. waigeuensis Mayr, 1940 – W Papuan Is (Waigeo).
  • A. s. stenozona (G. R. Gray, 1858) – W Papuan Is (Misool), W & S New Guinea lowlands, and Aru Is.
  • A. s. obscura Junge, 1956 – Biak I (in Geelvink Bay).
  • A. s. megala (Stresemann, 1913) – lowlands of N & E New Guinea, including Yapen I (in Geelvink Bay) and d’Entrecasteaux Archipelago.
  • A. s. coultasi Mayr, 1945 – Admiralty Is (NW Bismarck Archipelago).
  • A. s. bismarckii (Sharpe, 1888) – E Bismarck Archipelago.
  • A. s. gurneyi (E. P. Ramsay, 1882) – Solomon Is.
  • A. s. subcristata (Gould, 1838) – N & E Australia.
  • Descriptive notes

    35–46 cm; male 259–357 g, female 260–448 g; wingspan 80–105 cm. Resembles most others in genus, particularly A. cuculoides, but no overlap... read more


    Noisy in breeding season, mainly heard to give repeated high-pitched "ee-chu, ee-chu" or... read more


    Rainforest, wet sclerophyll and swamp forest, woodland and edge, including farmland, mangroves,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous. Mainly eats foliage insects (e.g. mantids, beetles, grasshoppers, stick insects and caterpillars) and tree-frogs; also lizards... read more


    Sept–Feb in Australia; season apparently longer, extending into early dry season (austral autumn) in New Guinea and Solomons (Jul... read more


    Mostly sedentary. Extreme SE populations (Australia) partly migratory, making some local... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common in tropics, e.g. on coasts of New Ireland, in Solomons and Tanahjampea, but uncommon at extremities of Australian... read more

    Recommended citation

    Debus, S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pacific Baza (Aviceda subcristata). 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).