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Buteo nitidus

Gray-lined Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic 4 Subspecies

Authors: Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi

Buteo nitidus

Río Madre de Dios, Peru; 11 June 2012 © Carlos Calle

The Gray Hawk is a widespread small hawk of open habitats through much of the Neotropics. It is relatively uniformly colored overall, gray above and finely barred gray and white below. The tail is banded black and white, and the cere and legs are yellow-orange. Immatures are brown above and streaked white and brown below. The Gray Hawk occurs in river-edge habitats, forest edges and clearings, scrub, savanna, and agricultural land from Mexico and the southwestern United States south to northern Argentina. Birds at the northern end of the range in Mexico and the US are migratory, but the Gray Hawk is resident farther south. This species feeds mostly on reptiles, but also takes birds, rodents, and large insects. Gray Hawks typically hunt from a perch. Breeding birds engage in aerial courtship displays and build a stick nest in a tree or, in more open areas, in thorny shrub.

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Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Gray-lined Hawk (Buteo nitidus), 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:Gallery forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:Amphibians and Reptiles
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern