Family Falcons, Caracaras (Falconidae)

Least Concern

Pied Falconet (Microhierax melanoleucos)


French: Fauconnet noir et blanc German: Elsterfälkchen Spanish: Falconete pío

Ierax melanoleucos


, 1843,





NE India (Assam, Nagaland and Manipur) E across S China to Zhejiang and S Jiangsu, and S to N Laos and N & C Vietnam.

Descriptive notes

15–19 cm; 55–75 g; wingspan 33–37 cm. Largest and longest-tailed of Microhierax falconets, with pointed wings and square-ended tail; glossy black... read more


A low chattering, series of shrill peeping whistles, which rise and fall in pitch and volume... read more


Forest edge and open areas of moist deciduous and evergreen forest, often beside rivers and streams... read more

Food and feeding

Preys on large insects, particularly butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers; also small to medium-sized birds; reported to take lizards... read more


Laying usually Mar–May; adults seen feeding young in Sept in India. No aerial displays described, although unspecified ‘display... read more


Sedentary, but local and altitudinal movements in response to cold weather suspected in N of range... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Previously considered Near Threatened. Chinese population speculated to be just 100 pairs and entire population perhaps... read more

Recommended citation

Clark, W.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Pied Falconet (Microhierax melanoleucos). 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 26 February 2020).