Pied Falconet   Microhierax melanoleucos


  • Microhierax : mikros small ; hierax hawk
  • Melanoleucos : melas- black; leukos – white. { Black and white}

Vernacular Names: Cachar: Daoling kashiba, Hindi: Daoling Kashiba

Distribution in India: Winter visitor in North East India.

Description: Size of 15–19 cm; 55–75 g; wingspan 33–37 cm. It is the largest and longest-tailed of Microhierax falconets, with pointed wings and square-ended tai. It is glossy black above and white below, lacking any rufous but has variable black flanks patch. The forehead is white or blackish; white supercilium, largely whitish underwing-coverts and four white bars on black undertail. The female is larger. The Iris is Brown, cere is blackish slate and legs are dark brown to black. The juvenile is similar to adult, but has yellow bill and orbital skin, and paler, greyer legs and feet

 Habitat: It is found in forest edge and open areas of moist deciduous and evergreen forest, often beside rivers and streams; and in tea plantations. It is found from sea-level up to 1500 m.

Food habits: It eats  large insects, like  butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers and small to medium-sized birds. It eats lizards and small mammals on ground.  It hunts from an exposed perch in a dead tree or large open tree above forest canopy, at forest edge, or along stream or river. It does not remain at any perch for long period, perpetually assumes new perches. Prey is captured in air after swift, powerful, shrike-like attack flight, by stooping like a Falco, and sometimes eats insects on wing. Sometimes it is found in small hunting groups typical of genus.

Breeding habits: They breed  in Mar–May. They nest in old barbet or woodpecker holes above ground, usually in dead tree, with no material added. They lay a clutch of 3–4 eggs. The adults are aggressive in nest defense.