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LEXICON

 

 

Changeable Hawk-eagle

Name of a large bird of prey, with the scientific designations Nisaetus cirrhatus and Spizaetus cirrhatus. It is a resident of Southeast Asia and occurs in Thailand, Malaysia, Brunei and the Philippines. It is rare in Singapore, but also occurs in India. It lives in all types of forest and is commonly found in primary and closed secondary forest, woodlands and areas of lowland, but also in plantations and logged forests. Being a meat eater it hunts for small mammals and reptiles, as well as for birds. Its large wings, though with a shorter wingspan than birds of prey of the open region, and its long, rounded tail, indicate its adaption to a woody environment. When hunting, it perches motionless from a high spot, often a dead tree, or from the air, spying on its prey, which it then raids and usually seizes on the ground. As its name suggests, the Changeable Hawk-eagle has many different varieties, with some individuals being nearly white and others almost black in colour. The darker morphs somewhat resemble the Black Eagle (fig.). The long feathers on the nape give its head an angular profile. It has four dark bands on the tail, of which the terminal one is broader (fig.). These birds give out loud calls of shrill screams. Also known as Crested Hawk-eagle, and in Thai named yiyaw tahng sih (เหยี่ยวต่างสี).