Bazas!

The last couple of days, three Pacific bazas (Aviceda subcristata, also known as crested hawks) have been flying around together and calling. We’d seen one only once before here, though we had one living in the rainforest remnant at our previous house. We got great views of it gliding silently and gracefully across the paddock to crash into the trees, disturbing insects for it to eat. They are spectacular-looking birds.

My shot isn’t that great – that blotch on its chest above the feet is an artefact of me fiddling in Photoshop, trying to bring out the feather details – but at least I got one, yay! You can see the definitive crest, the yellow eye and the stripes on the chest and feathers.

Pacific baza surveying the scene

They are omnivorous, eating insects (especially stick insects), tree frogs, small reptiles, nestling birds and even fruit. I hope these three settle in the vicinity.

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6 Responses to Bazas!

  1. Rebecca says:

    Stick insects? What an interesting food to specialize on, to any degree!

  2. Wow, how exciting! I’d love to see one of these in person–unlikely that they’ll be gliding thru Oregon in the US any time soon, though!

    • Joy Window says:

      I just saw them again this morning. Unfortunately, the local noisy miners – birds who are colony breeders and quite aggressive to any birds or snakes they feel might be a threat – were out in force and drove them away. Not too far, I hope.

  3. peonyden says:

    Hi Joy.
    Hope they don’t get mobbed by the Noisy Miners.
    They feed on many insects, and frogs and Geckos, as they live in tree tops, mostly.
    A friend of mine found a dead one south from Wollongong. It had a dozen green caterpillars in its beak and gullet, so we think it had been down in the grass of a dairy farm nearby.
    http://peonyden.blogspot.com/2011/07/pacific-baza-found-at-calderwood-near.html
    Lovely birds.

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