email a friend
printable version
Plumbeous Hawk Cryptoleucopteryx plumbea
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
Please email us with any relevant information

This species has been uplisted to Vulnerable as it is suspected to be in rapid population decline owing to on-going habitat loss and degradation.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.
SACC. 2006. A classification of the bird species of South America. Available at: #

Taxonomic note
Cryptoleucopteryx plumbea (del Hoyo and Collar 2014) was previously placed in the genus Leucopternis as L. plumbeus.

Leucopternis plumbea BirdLife International (2000), Leucopternis plumbea Collar et al. (1994), Leucopternis plumbea Collar and Andrew (1988), Leucopternis plumbea Stotz et al. (1996), Leucopternis plumbea Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Leucopternis plumbea BirdLife International (2004), Leucopternis plumbeus Salvin, 1872

Distribution and population
Leucopternis plumbeus is considered rare to uncommon in eastern Panama, western Colombia and Ecuador, and extreme north-western Peru (Hilty and Brown 1986, Ridgely and Gwynne 1989, Bierregaard 1994a, Bierregaard et al. 1994, Clements and Shany 2001). There is a 1995 sighting from Santa Fe in Veraguas, but it has been extirpated from much of western Panama (Bierregaard 1994a, G. Montañez in litt. 2000). It is known from several scattered localities in Colombia, notably in Nariño (Hilty and Brown 1986, Bierregaard 1994a, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999). Accelerating rates of deforestation are presumably impacting the species, and it may be genuinely rare, but it is inconspicuous - in part owing to its 'sit-and-wait' predatory behaviour (P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999) - so is probably under-recorded in remaining habitat. For example, only one individual of this species was recorded during 6 months of fieldwork in 2005 in Soberania National Park, Panama, although these surveys did not involve canopy observation points (M. Canuto in litt. 2014).

Population justification
This species's global population size has not been quantified, but it is described as 'uncommon' (Stotz et al. 1996). It is preliminarily placed in the band for 10,000-19,999 mature individuals on the basis that it may be approaching as few as 10,000 mature individuals.

Trend justification
The population is suspected to be in rapid decline owing to on-going deforestation, driven mainly by agricultural expansion, as well as timber extraction and mining (M. Sanchez in litt. 2013).

It largely inhabits the closed-canopy interior of lowland and foothill humid forests, up to 800 m, but has also been recorded in degraded forest (Bierregaard 1994a, Bierregaard et al. 1994, P. G. W. Salaman in litt. 1999).

There has been widespread deforestation across most of its range, primarily driven by the expansion of agriculture, with other prominent drivers being logging for timber and mining activities (M. Sanchez in litt. 2013).

Conservation Actions Underway
CITES Appendix II. CMS Appendix II. Some of the species's habitat is within protected areas of various designations.
Conservation Actions Proposed
Study its ability to persist in degraded and fragmented habitats. Survey and attempt to estimate global population. Extend protected areas network to include further core areas of remaining habitat.

Bierregaard, R. O. 1994. Neotropical Accipitridae (Hawks and Eagles). In: del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. (ed.), Handbook of the birds of the world, pp. 52-205. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Clements, J. F.; Shany, N. 2001. A field guide to the birds of Peru. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Hilty, S. L.; Brown, W. L. 1986. A guide to the birds of Colombia. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

IUCN. 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2012.1). Available at: (Accessed: 19 June 2012).

Ridgely, R. S.; Gwynne, J. A. 1989. A guide to the birds of Panama with Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Honduras. Princeton University Press, Princeton.

Stotz, D. F.; Fitzpatrick, J. W.; Parker, T. A.; Moskovits, D. K. 1996. Neotropical birds: ecology and conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Further web sources of information
Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Capper, D., Sharpe, C J, Symes, A. & Taylor, J.

Canuto, M., Montañez, G., Salaman, P. & Sanchez, M.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Cryptoleucopteryx plumbea. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 27/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Vulnerable
Family Accipitridae (Hawks, Eagles)
Species name author (Salvin, 1872)
Population size 10000-19999 mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) -
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species