copyright: Vicky Cheng
The upper and side surfaces of the Pied Falconet are mostly glossy black. Some individuals have a thin white line across the base of the cere, over the eyes and down to the breast giving the appearance of a white face with large black eye patches. There are also some white spots on the inner wing and narrow white bars on the inner part of the tail. Below it is white, with some black mottling on the breast. The eyes are bright brown, the cere and feet black to brownish black.
A bird of the deep deciduous and evergreen forest, the Pied Falconet prefers areas with some clearings at altitudes of between 3,000 and 5,000 feet. Old cultivation, tea gardens and stream banks are its favoured spots, where it can be seen perched in the tops of trees, making occasional forays hunting flying insects. It is often seen in pairs, or in groups of up to five, where the birds may well be in a family
A very bold and powerful falconet, it often takes, in a true falcons stoop, birds as large as thrushes – very much larger than itself.
The adult Pied Falconets feed mostly on insects, but also on small birds to the size of a thrush, and small ground mammals and reptiles. Insects and birds are taken in flight.
Prey is seized either from the ground or in flight.
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size may be small, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
The Pied Falconet breeds in abandoned holes in dead trees – often at a height of 100 feet or more – always inaccessible. The holes are used for more than one year, and are usually full of insect remains. Three or four white eggs are laid in early March. The young generally fledge in mid-May.
Sedentary but has been wandering north (Hong Kong). Also suggested to make altitudinal movements due to temperature.
- spanwidth min.: 35 cm
- spanwidth max.: 37 cm
- size min.: 18 cm
- size max.: 20 cm
- incubation min.: 0 days
- incubation max.: 0 days
- fledging min.: 0 days
- fledging max.: 0 days
- broods 1
- eggs min.: 3
- eggs max.: 4
- Conservation Status
- Falco melanoleucos
- Microhierax melanoleucos
- OR ne India to s China and c Vietnam