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Galapagos Hawk Buteo galapagoensis


The Galapagos Hawk is a large hawk that is restricted to the Galapagos Islands, where it is the only diurnal raptor. Dark brown overall, it has a gray tail with dark bars and a yellow cere and legs. It is closely related to the White-tailed Hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus), and resembles the dark morph of that species, but is browner. The Galapagos Hawk occurs in a variety of habitats on the islands, from shoreline to deciduous forest. As one of the only natural predators of larger animals on the islands, it feeds on just about anything, including rodents, birds, lizards, young goats, young tortoises and sea turtles, insects, and carrion. Most food is located by soaring at low to moderate elevations. The diet may vary depending on time of year or even between individual birds. The stick nest is placed in a tree or on a rock outcrop or protruding lava outflow. It is often used in consecutive seasons and can grow to be 3 m deep. The Galapagos Hawk is a cooperative, polyandrous breeder, with up to seven males copulating with and assisting a single female.

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© Margery R. Plymire

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

Recommended Citation

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