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Rupornis magnirostris

Roadside Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic 12 Subspecies

Authors: Rodriguez-Flores C. & M.C. Arizmendi

Buteo magnirostris

São João del Rei, Minas Gerais, Brazil; 27 July 2008 © Bertrando Campos

The Roadside Hawk, which is found from northern Mexico south to Argentina, is one of the most widespread raptors of the neotropics. This species shows considerable geographic variation across its wide distribution, with 12 currently recognized subspecies. Most of the subspecies are similar to one another, being gray above, with a grey head, yellow cere, banded tail and tight rufous banding from the breast to the vent. A few subspecies are more distinctive, however, such as saturatus, a brown and rufous subspecies found from Bolivia south to Argentina in drier Chaco forest, and gracilis, a brown, streaky subspecies found on islands off the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. The Roadside Hawk is so named due to its preference for the edges of forest; it occurs in many different environments, including the edges of tropical lowland forest, deciduous forest, and desert. The Roadside Hawk feeds on a variety of small prey including reptiles and small mammals, but mainly feeds on insects.

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Recommended Citation

Rodriguez-Flores C. & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Roadside Hawk (Rupornis magnirostris), 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:Second growth scrub
  • Foraging Strata:Terrestrial
  • Foraging Behavior:Stalk and Strike
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Platform
  • Clutch: 2 - 2
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern