Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors needed...

The Great Black Hawk is a large black raptor widespread in the Neotropics. It has a yellow cere, yellow legs, and a white tail that is crossed with one (subspecies urubitinga of South America) or two (subspecies ridgwayi of Mexico and Central America) black bands. The similar and partly sympatric Common Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) is smaller and has a largely black tail with one broad white band. The Great Black Hawk occurs in a variety of habitats, but usually is found in the vicinity of water. With regard to diet, it is a generalist, feeding primarily on rodents, bats, birds, fish, crabs, reptiles, and amphibians, and there also are reports of these hawks eating fruit and eggs. The Great Black Hawk often feeds on the ground, in vegetation, or even in shallow water, pursuing prey on foot or with short flights. The stick nest is placed in a tree or on a man-made structure.


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© David L. Ross, Jr.

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

Recommended Citation

Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: