Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 6 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Broad-winged Hawk is a small, brown hawk breeding primarily in the Nearctic. Breeders from the United States and Canada (subspecies platypterus) winter in southern Mexico, Central America, and northwestern South America south to western Ecuador, Bolivia, and northwestern Brazil. Spectacular numbers of migrants can be observed at sites in Mexico and Central America. Several additional subspecies are resident on Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Lesser Antilles. All subspecies are dark brown above, have a black tail with two white subterminal bands, have a brown face with a dark moustachial stripe, and are white below with heavy reddish-brown mottling. The Caribbean subspecies are generally whiter below with scattered brown speckling. On the breeding grounds, the northern subspecies of the Broad-winged Hawk feeds on rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and some arthropods by sitting-and-waiting from forest edge. The diet of these hawks in the Neotropics is poorly known, but wintering birds in South America may rely more on arthropods than they do during the breeding season. The nest is made of sticks and placed in a crotch of a tree.

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© Robert C. Stein

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

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: