Harpagus is a genus of birds of prey in the Accipitridae family. It comprises:

Harpagus bidentatus.jpg
Double-toothed kite (Harpagus bidentatus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Milvinae
Genus: Harpagus
Vigors, 1824

H. bidentatus
H. diodon

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Double-tooth Kite - Choco - Ecuador.jpg Harpagus bidentatus Double-toothed kite Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela
Rufous-thighed Kite (Harpagus diodon).jpg Harpagus diodon Rufous-thighed kite Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, and Suriname

Both live in tropical American forests. They are small, rather accipiter-like kites, 30 to 35 cm long and compact, with long tails and oval wings ("pinched in" near the base of the trailing edge) which they characteristically curve downward when soaring or gliding. Both have dark tails with pale bars, as well as a white throat with a dark stripe down the middle. Another shared feature is a blunt bill with two notches on each side of the upper mandible. This "double tooth" gave rise not only to the common name of one species but to the specific epithets bidentatus and diodon. Both like rather high perches in trees and sometimes soar above the forest.

Harpagus was the Greek name of a Median general.


  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press. pp. 229–230. ISBN 0-691-09250-8.
  • Howell, Steve N. G.; Webb, Sophie (1995). A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. Oxford University Press. p. 183. ISBN 0-19-854012-4.
  • Peterson, Alan P. (Editor). 1999. Zoological Nomenclature Resource (Zoonomen). Accessed 2007-08-22.