Looking like no other bird of prey, the Pacific Baza is easily distinguished from other Raptors by the crest on the back of its head. (more like an over grown crested Pigeon!) This quiet, small and unobtrusive hunter of the tree tops lives along the edges of eucalypt and rainforests, particularly the galleries of trees lining watercourses. They patrol the outer foliage, weaving through and around tree crowns, snatching their food from the leaves. Their food consists of grubs, frogs, reptiles, small mice, invertebrates and stick insects. Sometimes they crash into the foliage, presumably to disturb their prey, and they have been seen hanging upside down on branches, searching for food. Some insects are even caught in mid air, the birds wheeling and somersaulting to catch them.
Found mainly in coastal northwestern Australia from Fitzroy River to McArthur River NT, around Gulf of Carpentaria and in the east from Cape York Peninsula all the way south to a couple of hundred kilometers below Sydney and inland to the western fringes of the Great Dividing Range. . Their flight is slow and leisurely, flapping and gliding on broad rounded wings, allowing them to manoeuvre easily and acrobatically. Pacific Bazas hunt at any time of the day, but are diurnal and so mostly through the morning and later afternoon.
Their upper body is grey-blue tinged brown on backs of shoulders, head darker with lighter face and crest is black, wings broad and rounded, flight feathers mid to dark blue-grey with darker bars, tail dark blue-grey, throat and upper breast mid-grey, chin lighter, under belly stripped cream and black-brown bar, eye distinct golden yellow and skin around eye green-yellow with blue tinge, beak black, feet pale grey, claws dusky grey. Baby chicks are born covered in whitish down.
Although infrequently gathering in groups of up to 9, perhaps in family groups, Bazas are rather solitary birds, even though they are rather sedentary and probably permanently paired, they consort closely with their mates only when breeding time. Nesting time is heralded by spectacular aerial displays, the pair soar and circle often to considerable heights, swooping and tumbling while calling loudly, plunging down then drawing up with vigorous flapping to somersault and roll over in mid air.
A hoarsely whistled double call wee-choo or ee-chu commonly heard during breeding months September – March, other calls include shorts whistles and trails.