Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Ignacio Quintero and Andrés Jácome


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Black Hawk-Eagle
eBird range map for Black Hawk-Eagle

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The distribution in the Americas is very broad, covering the greater part of Central and South America, from Mexico south to northeastern Argentina. Distribution in Peru of Spizaetus tyrannus. Solid circles: specimen records; open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006)


Primarily occurs in the lowlands; upper elevational limit is reported as 1000 m on the Atlantic slope in Mexico, but, locally, up to 1500 m on the Pacific slope (Howell and Webb 1995); "center of abundance" in Costa Rica at 200-1000 m, but locally up to 2000 m (Stiles and Skutch 1989); to 500 m in Colombia (Hilty and Brown 1986); to 1500 m in Venezuela (Hilty 2003); to 1200 m in eastern Ecuador, and up to 1700 m in western Ecuador (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001); and, locally, up to 1800 m in Peru (Schulenberg et al. 2007).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


The Black Hawk-Eagle inhabits generally lowlands in tropical forests. Occurs at many sites in extensive, primary forest; but may prefer, or at least tolerate, more open forested habitats than does Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) (Hilty and Brown 1986).

Historical changes

No information.

Fossil history

No information.

Recommended Citation

Quintero, I. and A. Jácome (2011). Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.