Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Semiplumbeous Hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbeus)


French: Buse semiplombée German: Möwenbussard Spanish: Busardo semiplomizo

Leucopternis semiplumbeus


, 1861,

Caribbean slope of Panama




Extreme E Honduras#R and E Nicaragua#R S to W Colombia (E to Magdalena Valley) and NW Ecuador (Esmeraldas and NW Pichincha). Several recently seen and heard in Allpahuayo-Mishana National Reserve, N Peru, possibly referring to present species or to a closely related new species#R.

Descriptive notes

31–36 cm; male 250 g, female 325 g; wingspan 51–64 cm. Small, stocky, short-winged Leucopternis with strikingly distinctive plumage and bare parts.... read more


Quite vocal in breeding season, when gives a series of loud, piercing upslurred whistles: "kwee...... read more


Humid forests of tropical and lower subtropical zones; forest edge, in and around forest fragments... read more

Food and feeding

Feeding habits little known. Takes lizards and snakes; one record of an Ameiva lizard; reported attacking birds at an army ant... read more


Almost no information. One anecdotal record of nest-building in crown of tall tree in Costa Rica in Jan; male in breeding condition taken... read more


Presumably sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Formerly classified as Near Threatened. Although considered locally common in some areas of primary forest, and tolerant of... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Semiplumbeous Hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbeus). 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).