skip to content

Buteo brachyurus

Short-tailed Hawk

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic 2 Subspecies

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

Buteo brachyurus

Silent Mountain, Turrialba, Cartago, Costa Rica; 24 February 2014 © hawk person

The Short-tailed Hawk is found throughout the tropics and subtropics of Central and SouthAmerica; it also breeds in Florida, in the United States. Within its wide latitudinal distribution the Short-tailed Hawk can be found in many forested habitats, from tropical lowland evergreen forest up to foothill forest at 1200 m. It is most often seen in soaring flight near edge habitats where it hunts primarily for birds; it soars up to 100-200 m in the air and then stoops for prey. In Florida, ninety-five percent of one individual’s prey items were Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) but it will even take smaller raptors such as American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) and Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus).

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute — we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more

Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C., C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus), 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:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:---
  • Diet:
  • Sociality:
  • Mating System:
  • Nest Form:
  • Clutch: -
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern