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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Pacific Baza: 15 Facts You Won’t Believe!

Interesting Pacific baza facts for kids.

A slender and medium-sized species that belongs to the group of hawks, the Pacific baza (Aviceda subcristata) is also known as the crested baza, the Pacific cuckoo-falcon, and the crested hawk. This bird can be distinguished from other raptors by the presence of the crest on the back of its head.

The Pacific baza bird has a white underside which is barred in black while the upperside is gray. The species has a small gray head and yellow eyes that are located far into the side of its head. Its thighs and feet are reddish-brown and gray respectively. The species possesses broad, rounded, and paddle-shaped wings that are comparatively larger than the body. Unlike males, females have a slightly browner upperside while juveniles have a rust-colored breast. The bird also has a long tail with a square end.

The species is found in northern and eastern Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and East Timor. They occur around the edges of rainforest, savannas, and freshwater bodies like wetlands, streams, rivers.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the Pacific baza hawk as a species of Least Concern. However, these birds are majorly threatened by deforestation and accidents.

For more relatable content, check out these common murre facts and Sarus crane facts for kids.

Pacific Baza Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Pacific baza?

The Pacific baza (Aviceda subcristata) is a medium-sized raptor that is also known as a crested baza, a Pacific cuckoo-falcon, and a crested hawk. This bird can be distinguished from other hawks by the presence of the crest on the back of its head. These omnivores feed on stick insects, tree frogs, lizards, snakes, birds, and fruits.

What class of animal does a Pacific baza belong to?

The Pacific baza (Aviceda subcristata) belongs to the class of Aves, the family of Accipitridae, and the Aviceda genus. These birds of the Aviceda genus are known as cuckoo-hawks.

How many Pacific bazas are there in the world?

The exact population of these crested hawk (Aviceda subcristata) birds is not known, but their numbers seem to be stable as of now. The species is also listed in the Least Concern category in the IUCN Red List.

Where does a Pacific baza live?

If you look closely at the Pacific baza range map, you will see that the species is found in northern and eastern Australia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and East Timor. The Pacific baza does not migrate, it is a sedentary bird.

What is a Pacific baza's habitat?

The species dwells around the edges of rainforest, savannas, subtropical and tropical forests, and freshwater bodies like wetlands, streams, and rivers. These birds prefer leafy habitats on the fringes of the forest, woodlands, timbered watercourses, and well-treed suburbs.

Who do Pacific bazas live with?

Like other birds of the Accipitridae family, this species is generally found in pairs or small flocks. These birds form monogamous pairs and mate for life. They are often found hovering over their territory in shallow circles. Also, the species is considered one of the most social hawks.

How long does a Pacific baza live?

The lifespan of the species is around seven to eight years but some hawks live up to 20 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The crested hawk (Aviceda subcristata) follows a monogamous pattern of reproduction which means that female and male Pacific baza birds mate for life. The breeding season generally starts in September and lasts until February. In Australia, the breeding season can last beyond February.

During this period, these birds perform multiple courtship displays, including hovering in the air, somersaults, and much more. Their nests are built of sticks and are placed around 49.21-98.42 ft (15-30 m) above the ground. Female Pacific baza birds lay around one to four white eggs in the nest made of sticks and both parents are involved in the incubation process. They incubate the eggs for around 29 days and juveniles become independent at least 22 days after hatching.

What is their conservation status?

Studies reveal that the population of these birds is stable as of now, even the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the species in the Least Concern category. However, humans are playing a major role in making these birds more vulnerable, and the species is facing threats from a loss of habitat and from accidents. Hundreds of Pacific bazas die as a result of vehicle collisions during dawn and dusk.

Pacific Baza Fun Facts

What do Pacific bazas look like?

The Pacific baza has a distinctive physical feature that makes the species more unique: the crest on the back of its head. The species has a white underside which is barred in black while the upper side is gray. Its small gray head makes its yellow eyes stand out. These eyes of the species symbolize alertness. Their broad, rounded, and paddle-shaped wings are comparatively larger than their bodies and females have slightly browner uppersides. This bird also has a long tail with a square end.

These Pacific baza facts might make you love them.

How cute are they?

The Pacific baza is one of the most majestic birds in the world. You rarely find this level of intelligence and alertness in any other bird species. When it comes to adaptability, these birds can easily survive in any condition, be it islands, savannas, or tropical and subtropical forest habitats. This king of birds has a beautiful crest that looks like a crown too!

How do they communicate?

Like other species of the Aviceda genus, these birds have their distinctive calls that are used to find their partners within their range. The most prominent call they make is the 'pee-peow' sound. Studies even reveal that these birds imitate the calls of tree frogs while hunting. This bird of prey also performs several courtship displays, such as forming a V-shape with its wings while flying downwards.

How big is a Pacific baza?

The average weight and length of this bird are around 0.57-0.99 lb (260–450 g) and 14–18 in (35-46 cm) respectively. The average size of the Pacific baza wingspan is around 31–41 in (80-105 cm). The species is twice the size of American kestrels and common nighthawks.

How fast can a Pacific baza move?

Their exact speed of flight is not known as of now but some hawk species, such as the red-tailed hawk, fly at a speed of 118.06 mph (190 kph). When it comes to the average Pacific baza flight speed, this is not known, but we do know that the edges of their wings are generally curved in shape.

How much does a Pacific baza weigh?

The average weight of the species is around 0.57-0.99 lb (260–450 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

A male Pacific hawk is called a 'tercel' while the term 'hen' is used to refer to a female baza.

What would you call a baby Pacific baza?

The term 'eyas' is used to refer to a baby Pacific baza.

What do they eat?

It was previously said that the species was a carnivore but studies in the '70s revealed that these birds also like to eat fruits. Like other species of the Accipitridae family, these birds prey on stick insects such as stick bugs, while they also prey on tree frogs, lizards, snakes, and birds.

Are they dangerous?

Generally, these birds prefer to stay away from human settlements but if they do come close they can be quite dangerous to humans. They become quite aggressive when someone tries to approach or come close to them during the nesting season. An attack from these birds could cause severe injuries to humans.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds do not make good pets anywhere around the world.

Did you know...

Species like the Pacific baza are eaten by eagles, red foxes, great horned owls, raccoons, and many other wild animals.

Are Pacific bazas endangered?

No, the species is not endangered, instead, it is listed in the Least Concern category of the IUCN Red List.

How did the Pacific baza get its name?

The genus name, Aviceda, is a combination of two Latin words, 'avis', and 'caedere', the meanings of which are 'bird' and 'to kill' respectively. Their scientific name, subcristata, is also a Latin word that means 'somewhat crested'.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our Australian pelican facts and glossy ibis facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Pacific baza coloring pages.

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