Black baza

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The black baza (Aviceda leuphotes) belongs to the family Accipitridae. The black baza species is distributed in Central China, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Andaman Islands of India.

Taxonomy of Black baza

  • Scientific Name: Aviceda leuphotes
  • Common Name: Black baza
  • French: Baza huppard; German: Dreifarbenweih; Spanish: Baza negro;
  • Other names: Falco leuphotes Dumont de Sainte Croix, 1820;
  • Family: Accipitridae › Accipitriformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Species author: (Dumont, 1820)
Earlier these baza species were included in the genus Falco. The four recognized Aviceda leuphotes subspecies are: A. l. wolfei Deignan, 1948, A. l. syama (Hodgson, 1837), A. l. leuphotes (Dumont de Sainte Croix, 1820) and A. l. andamanica Abdulali & Grubh, 1970.

Indian birds - Image of Black baza - Aviceda leuphotes
Indian birds - Image of Black baza - Aviceda leuphotes


The black baza is a small bird, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length and weighing 170 to 220 grams. The wingspan is 65 to 80 cm. Its head is pigeon-like and has a long crest, often held erect. These baza species has short, stout legs and feet with strong talons. The male has white scapulars and secondary coverts and on the secondaries. The female has several chestnut bands on the underside.


These baza species inhabit deciduous or evergreen tropical forests. They are often seen perched on the top branches of the tall trees rising above the forest canopy.

Feeding habits

The black baza feed on large insects, frogs, small reptiles and small birds. They have been observed to eat ripe fruits of oil palm. The call is a "chu-weep" and they also sound a soft squeal.


These baza species in north India breed in April. Both the pair take part in nest building, incubation, brooding and feeding. The nest is firm platform on tall trees.


The black baza subspecies A. l. wolfei is distributed in Sichuan region of China. The subspecies A. l. syama is distributed in North India, Bhutan, Southeast China, Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. These subspecies winter in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. The subspecies A. l. leuphotes is distributed in south India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand. The subspecies A. l. andamanica occurs in Andaman Islands.

Movement Patterns

The black baza are partially migratory. Some flocks have been observed to move to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia for wintering.

Status and conservation

The black baza species has an extremely large range and are considered least vulnerable. The loss of forest cover may make the survival of these birds vulnerable.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated these baza birds and has listed them as of "Least Concern".

Biological classification of Aviceda leuphotes
Species:A. leuphotes
Binomial name:Aviceda leuphotes
Distribution:Central China, India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Andaman Islands of India;
Feeding habits:large insects, frogs and small reptiles;
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern

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