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Buteogallus meridionalis

Savanna Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Monotypic


Buteogallus meridionalis

Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; 1 July 2015 © Christian Sanchez Photography

The Savanna Hawk is widespread raptor of open country habitats throughout the lowlands of tropical and subtropical South America. Like other members of the genus Buteogallus, the Savanna Hawk has a broad diet, and consumes a wide range of prey including small mammals, birds, crabs, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes and large insects. Its foraging strategy is equally diverse, and it will capture prey on the wing, from perches, or even by stalking on foot. Savanna Hawks can often be found walking through burning fields, a few feet behind the flames,  searching for toasted prey. It is also the most distinctive member of Buteogallus: the plumage of other species predominately is black, but the plumage of the Savanna Hawk is a crisp cinnamon overall, with considerable gray patterning overlaying a rufous body.

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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis), 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)
  • Primary Habitat:Low, seasonally wet grassland
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:---
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern