Scientific Name: Nisaetus cirrhatus
Malay Name: Helang-Hindik Biasa
Chinese Name: 凤头鹰雕
Range: Resident from the Indian subcontinent through Sundaic southeast Asia, as well as some islands in the Philippines.
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: limnaeetus, cirrhatus, ceylanensis, andamanensis, vanheurni.
Local Subspecies: limnaeetus
Size: 61-75 cm
Identification: Comes in a dark and pale morph. The latter has dark streaks on its underparts with strongly marked underwings. Juvenile dark morphs are typically similar to adults, while juvenile pale morphs can be told apart by their very plain white underparts. Often confused with Crested Honey Buzzard, from which it can be told apart by its proportionally bigger head, rounder wings, shorter tail and feathered tarsus (if visible).
Similar looking species: Crested Honey Buzzard, Jerdon's Baza, Short-toed Snake Eagle, Rufous-bellied Eagle, Eastern Buzzard, Common Buzzard
Behaviour/Ecology: Frequently heard in various wooded area across Singapore, but beware as some of the sounds heard might turn out to be vocal mimicry by the Greater Racket-tailed Drongo. Previously rare in Singapore but population size has increased tremendously.
Local Status: Common resident
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2020)
Location: Found across many wooded area across Singapore. Even able to tolerate degraded habitat such as regenerating forest patches in Tuas as long as tall trees (such as Albizia) are available for nesting.
- RAP201: How to Identify Uncommon Raptors (ID Articles)
- RAP101: How to Identify Common Raptors (ID Articles)
- Local extinctions of Singapore birds (Science)
- RAP301: What is that raptor? (ID Articles)
- Singapore Birds Project Raptor Watch at Henderson Waves (Blog)
Conservation Status: IUCN Red List Page
Sound Recordings: xeno-canto Link
Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link
eBird Species page: eBird (Changeable Hawk-Eagle)
BirdLife International. (2020). Nisaetus cirrhatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22732090A181767197.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Singapore Birds Project. (n.d.). Changeable Hawk-Eagle. Retrieved on June 3, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/changeable-hawk-eagle.