Scientific Name: Hieraaetus pennatus
Malay Name: Helang Junam Kecil
Chinese Name: 靴隼雕
Found from southwest Europe to northwest Africa, Central Asia, Indian subcontinent, Siberia and northwest China with northern populations wintering to southern Africa, Indian subcontinent and mainland Southeast Asia
Size: 50-57 cm
This is a small crestless raptor with long square-cut tail and diagnostic pale shoulder spots (headlights) on the upperwing which occurs in two morph phases. Dark morph bird has uniform dark brown head and body, blackish flight feathers and pale brown underwing coverts. Pale morph bird has mostly whitish underparts with fine brownish streaks, blackish flight feathers and whitish underwing converts.
Similar looking species: Black Kite
Habitat: Reclaimed land, open country and wooded areas.
Behaviour/Ecology: Usually solitary, circling and soaring on thermals.
Local Status: Uncommon migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2021)
- RAP201: How to Identify Uncommon Raptors (ID Articles)
- Bird List Revision for May 2019 (Revisions)
- RAP301: What is that raptor? (ID Articles)
Past accepted records in our database: (not a complete listing)
BirdLife International. (2021). Hieraaetus pennatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2021. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2021-3.RLTS.T22696092A206456835.en. Accessed on 19 December 2021
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.