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in Itapajé, Ceará,
100 km from Fortaleza.
Presentation
Mammals

The avifauna is listed in
Birds of NE Brazil.
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Threatened species
Many species of NE Brazil are threatened by extinction. Our reserve helps to protect some of them:
Birds of NE Brazil
in Caatinga, Cerrado,
and other habitats
Bicoloured Hawk
Accipiter bicolor
Gavião-bombachinha-grande
Family: Accipitridae

Local subspecies: Accipiter bicolor pileatus, distributed in E Brazil and neighbouring countries (Clements 2007). RPPN Mãe-da-lua.

Synonyms: Sparvius bicolorVIEILLOT 1817;  Falco pileatusTEMMINCK 1823

I saw Accipiter bicolor several times in Mãe-da-lua reserve, always in the lowland, where the predominant vegetation is arboreal Caatinga regrowth.

The first time, on 02/04/2008, I briefly observed two raptors in a small clearing, close to the ground. They flew away when they noted my presence, but I was able to record part of a vocalization by one of them, and based on this recording, the species was later identified as Accipiter bicolor.

The next time was on 21/09/2010, in the middle of the dry season, when I heard many loud vocalizations by a group of Guira guira cuckoos in the vegetation around a reservoir. When I approached to see what caused the turmoil, I clearly saw a Bicoloured Hawk sitting in a small tree, on a branch about one meter above the ground.

Finally, in the first part of the rainy season of 2012, I encountered a breeding pair of Bicolored Hawks in RPPN Mãe-da-lua. The vegetation around the nesting site was secondary arboreal Caatinga, maybe 30 (?) years old, with relatively high trees, particularly angico Anadenanthera colubrina and pau d'arco Tabebuia impetiginosa. The nest, which had a diameter of about 50-60 cm, was in the crown of a young angico tree, 10 m above the ground. The photos shown here were taken in the vicinity of the nesting site.

Check also Songs and calls!

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Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor
23/02/2012; Mãe-da-lua private reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. 300mm f2.8 lens.
Figure 1. This is one of the two Bicolored Hawks that I saw close to the nest. The photo is a little overexposed, but the plumage coloration is clearly visible. The individual has the typical colors of Accipiter bicolor, with one exception: The tail feathers are not barred (compare with Mata et al. 2006, p. 120/121). This does not seem to be an artifact of photography, because the tail barring is normally rather bold and should be visible even on a photo taken under unfavorable conditions (shadow, angle).

On the wikiaves website, I found one other photo of Accipiter bicolor without bars on the tail feathers: WA255042 (Silva, A.M. 2010).

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Bicoloured Hawk (Accipiter bicolor)
11/03/2012; Mãe-da-lua private reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. (c) H. Redies.
Figure 2. This is the other individual which I saw in the vicinity of the nest. Parts of the photo are underexposed because of the irregular shadow of the trees, but even without much light, it can be seen that this individual has dark-banded tail feathers. See also figure 3. Its breast and belly exhibit an indistinct and irregular pattern of fine transversal stripes and patches, colored gray, white or pale rufous. Note the pale rufous thighs.

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Bicoloured Hawk (Accipiter bicolor)
11/03/2012; Mãe-da-lua private reserve, Itapajé, Ceará, Brazil. (c) H. Redies.

Figure 3. Ventral view of tail of individual shown in figure 2. This pattern is typical for Accipiter bicolor: White undertail-coverts, and retrizes with 3 dark bands and a dark tip. Compare with Mata et al. 2006, p. 120/121.

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