Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Aviceda leuphotes (Dumont, 1820)

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum/Division:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Accipitriformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Aviceda
Species:A. leuphotes
Common Names:Black Baza
Status:Common winter visitor and passage migrant

Distribution

The Black Baza breeds in northeast India, east Nepal, south China, Mynamar, Thailand and winters in south India, Sri Lanka, Indochina, Peninsular Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Sumatra.

Localities

During winter, it is found through Singapore and its offshore islands.

Locality Map

General Biology

This small raptor, a common winter visitor and passage migrant to Singapore as well as Malaysia, frequents open forests, mangroves, plantations, and wooded areas. It is usually found in flocks and gathers to roost communally, keeping to the top of tall trees. When perched, the Black Baza often erects its crest vertically. It is often seen preening and stretching, images of which can be seen HERE and HERE. An injured bird was cared for after it was supposedly mobbed by crows. 

Images of the bill and upper mandible's double tomial tooth (actually serrations) that assist the raptor in breaking the neck of a prey can be seen HERE. The lower mandible has the corresponding notches.

Diet

It feeds mostly on insects, especially beetles and praying mantis. It will occasionally prey on other small animals such as bats, mice, shrews, lizards, and frogs. Images as seen HERE strongly suggest that the reptor casts a pellet after a meal.

References

Wang, L. K., 2011. Accipiters. Pp. 218–219. In: Ng, P. K. L., R. T. Corlett & H. T. W. Tan (editors). Singapore Biodiversity. An Encyclopedia of the Natural Environment and Sustainable Development. Editions Didier Millet, Singapore. 552 pp.

Wang, L. K. & C. J. Hails, 2007. An annotated checklist of the birds of Singapore. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement 15: 1–179.

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