The genus Henicopernis, together with the genera Aviceda, Pernis, Leptodon, Chondrohierax and Elanoides, form the subfamily Perninae which lack the os supraorbitale, a bony shield projecting above the eye that is present in hawks. Henicopernis consists of only two species. Henicopernis does not cluster with Gypaetus and Neophron, but seems to belong to an old endemic Australasiatic lineage standing somewhere between the Gypaetus/Neophron lineage and Buteo. Morphological similarities may be explained by convergent evolution of specific characters in adaptation to similar functions under
similar environmental conditions.
Overall barred wings and tail. Strongly streaked breast and belly with cream colored sides. Buffy ear patch; barred somewhat mottled hindneck.
Australasia : New Guinea. Endemic to New Guinea, Aru Islands, western Papuan Islands (Misol, Salawati, Batanta, Waigeu), and islands in Geelvink Bay (Biak and Yapen)
Frequents forest and at forest edges and forages over the canopy and mid-levels of forests
The stick nest is usually built high in a tree, sometimes in the crown of a tall Pandanus and sometimes on a cliff ledge. One nest was only 7 m off the ground.
Feeds mostly on insects, including wasps and wasp larvae, ants, and grasshoppers, and also on tree lizards, birds, and bird eggs. Sometimes seen soaring low over the canopy when hunting; hunts during the daylight and also at dusk. When hunting within the forest, it moves from perch to perch, perching near trunks and peering about, searching for prey.
Video Long-tailed Honey Buzzard
copyright: Rigdon Currie
This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be moderately small to large, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Non-migratory, but juveniles disperse from breeding areas
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