Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)


Wallace's Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nanus)


French: Aigle de Wallace German: Dschungelhaubenadler Spanish: Águila de Wallace

Spizaetus nanus


, 1868,

Sarawak, Borneo


Long considered synonymous with N. alboniger owing to confusion with immature plumages of latter. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • N. n. nanus (Wallace, 1868) – S Myanmar (Tenasserim) and S Thailand through Malay Peninsula to Sumatra (including Bangka I) and Borneo.
  • N. n. stresemanni (Amadon, 1953) – Nias I (off W Sumatra).
  • Probably present also (race not known) on Siberut, in Mentawai Is (off W Sumatra)#R.

    Descriptive notes

    43–58 cm; 500–610 g; wingspan 95–105 cm. Small, typical hawk eagle with tall black, white-tipped crest that is often held cocked upwards. Adult similar in... read more


    Shrill, high-pitched “yik-yee” or “kliit-kleeik”, with rising second note. Fledged juveniles give... read more


    Lowland evergreen and semi-evergreen forest, including dipterocarp, peat swamp and riverine forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Prey includes birds, bats, squirrels, rats, lizards and skinks, but speculated to be probably a bird specialist. Hunting methods not well... read more


    Season probably mainly Dec–Mar, although a nest with mid-sized chick in Sabah in Sept. Until recently, only nest known (in Peninsular... read more


    Apparently sedentary, except local dispersal by young birds.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. CITES II. Uncommon to rare with population most recently estimated by BirdLife International at 2500–9999 mature individuals. Increasingly threatened... read more

    Recommended citation

    Clark, W.S. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Wallace's Hawk-eagle (Nisaetus nanus). 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 27 February 2020).