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Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
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Photos from this Account

Adult light morph

Small hawk with broad wings that come to a slight point at the tips. Light morph adults have barred underparts and a strongly banded tail. Note dark outline to trailing edge of wings.

Adult light morph

Light morph adults have brown heads with variable amounts of barring on the breast (can be extensive as in this photo). Note the broad black-and-white bars on the tail.

Adult dark morph

Dark-morph adults are uniform dark brown overall, except for a broad white band in the tail. Dark morphs are rare.

Adult light morph

Small, compact hawk with brown upperparts. Adults have a broad white band on the tail.

Juvenile light morph

Young light morphs have variable amounts of brown barring on the breast. The tail has many narrow bands.

Juvenile light morph

Young light morphs have variable amounts of brown on the breast and lack a dark trailing edge to the wing. The tail has many narrow bands, usually with a stronger dark band at the tip. The gaps in the wing indicate this bird is molting its primary feathers.


This is a hawk of forests. It breeds in large deciduous or mixed deciduous-evergreen forests.


Forms large flocks on migration, sometimes numbering in the tens of thousands or more. Sometimes flocks with other hawk species.

Recommended Citation

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: