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Pied Falconet | Birds And Me

Pied Falconet


Pied Falconet

Scientific Name:  Microhierax melanoleucos

Pied Falconet image

Pied Falconet  Photo by:  --

Bird Type:  Birds of Prey    845  Views


Larger than Collared. Adult has white underparts, and lacks white hind collar. Mask apperas broader, and superclium narrower, than Collared. Juvenile similar but with yellowish bill and orbital skin (black in adult).


  • 20-20 cm

  • 8-8 Inch

  • black

  • white  (Bird may have more colors)

The pied falconet ranges from north-eastern India to east China and south-east Asia. They are found in deciduous forest edges and clearings in wooded foothills. This species likes clearing such as old cultivation lands with banks and stream. They are usually perched on tree tops while occasionally flying off to catch prey. These are not migratory birds, they are a resident species, staying in the same area for most of the year


Most of the pied falconet's diet comprises insects. They also feed on small mammals, reptiles and other birds about the same size of a thrush. These birds catch their prey while flying over it and catching it mid-flight or plucking it out of the foliage of the surrounding trees. Despite being small, the Pied falconet are quite fast and powerful allowing them to catch prey the same size as themselves or of slightly larger size.


This species produces a shrill, high pitched scream and chattering whistle


The pied falconet is a small black and white raptor, measuring between 7-7 ½ inches and weighing between 55-75 g. However it is still larger than the other members of the genus Microhierax. Its face is white with a prominent black patch covering the eyes reaching to the ear coverts with a yellowish beak. The upper parts, including the crown, are completely black. The primaries are black with white wing bars. Its long tail has black upper parts and is black with white bars from below. The Pied falconet display no sexual dimorphism and the juveniles strongly resemble adult males. The five specie's belonging to the genus Microheriax are the smallest members of the order Falconiformes. While they have a very distinct morphology compared to other birds of prey, within the genus Microhierax, they are quite similar. These are allopatric species, except for M. fringillarius and M. latifrons, and mostly likely play very similar ecological roles in each of the habitats as a result of the morphological similarities within the genus. M. melanoleucos is distinguishable from these other members by its white thighs and the lack of chestnut coloration. They are sometimes mistaken for Ashy Woodswallow (Artamus fuscus), however the Pied falconet has blacker upper parts compared to the grey-ash color seen on the Ashy Woodswallow

    Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
    Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
    Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
    Winter visitor
    Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
    known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
    Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
    Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
 colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season