Leucopternis is a Neotropical genus of birds of prey in the family Accipitridae. They are associated with tropical forest, and are uncommon or rare. Their plumage is largely black or gray above and white below, and they have distinctive orange ceres.

Leucopternis semiplumbeus -Costa Rica-8.jpg
Semiplumbeous hawk (Leucopternis semiplumbeus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Subfamily: Buteoninae
Genus: Leucopternis
Kaup, 1847


Traditionally, Leucopternis contains significantly more species than given here. However, as the genus probably was polyphyletic,[1] moves of species to other genera were proposed[2] and have been accepted by the American Ornithologists' Union's South American Check-list Committee[3] and North American Check-list Committee,[4] except that the South American Committee placed the former L. lacernulatus in the existing genus Buteogallus instead of in a new genus Amadonastur by itself. The other species were placed in the genera Cryptoleucopteryx, Morphnarchus, Pseudastur, and Buteogallus. According to this treatment, the species remaining in Leucopternis are:

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Leucopternis semiplumbeus Semiplumbeous hawk Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, and Panama
  Leucopternis melanops Black-faced hawk lowland Peru north of the Amazon and northeastern Ecuador to Venezuela, southern Colombia, Brazil north of the Amazon and the Guyanas.
  Leucopternis kuhli White-browed hawk southern Amazon Basin in eastern Peru, Bolivia and northern Brazil.


  1. ^ Raposo do Amaral et al. (2006), Mindell and Lerner (2008)
  2. ^ Raposo do Amaral et al. (2009)
  3. ^ Remsen et al. (2012)
  4. ^ Chesser et al. (2012)


  • Chesser, R. Terry; et al. (2012). "Fifty-third Supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds" (PDF). The Auk. 129 (3): 573–588. doi:10.1525/auk.2012.129.3.573. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  • Lerner & Mindell (2008). Molecular phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk 125: 304–315.
  • Raposo do Amaral, Miller, Silveira, Bermingham, & Wajntal (2006). Polyphyly of the hawk genera Leucopternis and Buteogallus (Aves, Accipitridae): multiple habitat shifts during the Neotropical buteonine diversification. BMC Evol. Biol. 6: 10
  • Raposo do Amaral, F. S.; et al. (2009). "Patterns and Processes of Diversification in a Widespread and Ecologically Diverse Avian Group, the Buteonine Hawks (Aves, Accipitridae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 53 (3): 703–715. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2009.07.020. PMID 19635577.
  • Remsen, J. V. Jr.; et al. "A Classification of the Bird Species of South America". American Ornithologists' Union. Archived from the original on 2009-03-02. Retrieved 2012-07-18.