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Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Quintero, Ignacio and Andrés Jácome
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The Black Hawk-Eagle is a large, black raptor of Neotropical forests. It has a prominent crest, is blackish with narrow white barring below, and broad gray bars on the tail. In flight, this species has a distinctive silhouette with broad, paddle-shaped wings and a rather long tail. The immature is largely buffy-white, with black mottling and streaking. This hawk-eagle occurs in both open and dense forests, and is the most frequently seen of the Neotropical forest eagles. Individuals often soar high overhead, where they attract attention with sharp, whistled calls. They feed on mammals, birds, and reptiles, taken largely from trees and detected from a favorite perch. The stick nest is placed in the canopy, where it is often supported by branches and vines. As in other Neotropical eagles, development is slow and this species likely only nests once every two or three years. The Black Hawk-Eagle occurs from Mexico south through the Amazon basin as well as in Atlantic coastal forest from eastern Brazil south to northern Argentina.

Song

© David L Ross, Jr.

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Quintero, Ignacio and Andrés Jácome. 2011. Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.blheag1.01