Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Rufous-thighed Kite (Harpagus diodon)


French: Harpage diodon German: Braunschenkelweih Spanish: Milano muslirrufo

Falco diodon


, 1823,

Villa Viçoza, Rio Peruípe, Bahia, Brazil


Plumage very closely resembles that of Accipiter bicolor, perhaps suggesting protective mimicry. Monotypic.


Breeds in Atlantic Forest of S Brazil, N Argentina (Misiones, Jujuy and Salta) and Paraguay below 10°S. Non-breeding visitor to Amazonia (W to R Branco, R Purus and N Bolivia) and locally to the Guianas#R and Venezuela.

Descriptive notes

29–35 cm; wingspan 60–70 cm. As in H. bidentatus, upper mandible has two notches, resembling teeth. Both adult and immature plumages strikingly... read more


Fledgling and attending parent (presumed female) gave high-pitched "chee" and disyllabic "chee-weet... read more


Primary lowland rain forest. Reported by some authors to be present in dense forest, but by others... read more

Food and feeding

Scant reports of diet include insects (especially cicadas), lizards and small birds. Close resemblance to bird-eating Accipiter bicolor... read more


Peak breeding season November–February, during austral summer. Only a handful of nests reported. In E Brazil, nests mostly Oct–... read more


Recently shown to be austral migrant: absent from Amazonia during austral summer (October–... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Breeding endemic to Atlantic Forest. Status poorly known; generally rare, but perhaps overlooked. Improved knowledge of its... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Bonan, A., Marks, J.S. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Rufous-thighed Kite (Harpagus diodon). 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).