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Great Black Hawk Buteogallus urubitinga

  • Order: Accipitriformes
  • Family: Accipitridae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: John van Dort

Great Black Hawk is a large black raptor widespread in the Neotropics. It has a black bill, yellow cere, long yellow tarsi, and a medium tail. As the English name suggests, the adult is mostly black, although the immature is brown. The similar and partly sympatric Common Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus) is smaller, has a pale based bill, white slashes on the outer primaries, and shorter tarsi. 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; there also are reports of these hawks eating fruit and eggs. Great Black Hawk often forages 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.


© David L. Ross, Jr.

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

Recommended Citation

van Dort, J. (2019). Great Black Hawk (Buteogallus urubitinga), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.