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Buteogallus aequinoctialis

Rufous Crab Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Monotypic


Buteogallus aequinoctialis

immature Rufous Crab-Hawk. Kourou Guyane , French Guiana; 20 December 2007 © alapi973

The Rufous Crab-hawk is a distinctive raptor of coastal lowland swamps, river edges, wet savannas and mangroves. It is distributed along the east coast of South America, from eastern Venezuela to the easternmost Brazilian coastline. As its name implies, the Rufous Crab-Hawk has a highly diet, and feeds exclusively on crabs. Crabs are generally caught after a short flight or dive from a low perch and then taken back to the perch to be consumed. The Rufous Crab-Hawk is found in most coastal habitats in eastern South America, and is by far the most common raptor in mangroves within its range. The plumage is black above with bold rufous edging to most of the wing coverts, tertials and scapulars as well as the secondaries, and is rufous below with fine black barring.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Rufous Crab Hawk (Buteogallus aequinoctialis), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
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  • IUCN Status:Least Concern