Broad-winged Hawk

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Broad-winged Hawk
 Photo: Hawk
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Falconiformes
Family:Accipitridae
Genus:Buteo
Species:B. platypterus
Binomial name
Buteo platypterus
(Vieillot,, 1823)

The Broad-winged Hawk, Buteo platypterus, is a small hawk.

Adults have short broad wings, dark brown upperparts and evenly-spaced black and white bands on the tail. There are two colour forms:

  • Light morph birds are pale on the underparts and underwing. They have thick red bars on the belly.
  • Dark morph birds are a darker brown on both upperparts and underparts. They are much less common than the light-coloured variant.

Their breeding habitat is wooded areas in eastern North America. They build a stick nest relatively low in a large tree.

These birds are a long distance migrants, wintering in Central and South America. They travel in large flocks during migration.

These birds wait on a perch and swoop down on prey, also sometimes flying in search of prey. They mainly eat small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, small birds and large insects.

Although this bird's numbers are relatively stable, populations are declining in some parts of its range due to forest fragmentation.

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