Gray Hawk Buteo plagiatus

  • © Scott Olmstead

The Gray Hawk is a widespread small hawk of open habitats through much of the Neotropics. It is relatively uniformly colored overall, gray above and finely barred gray and white below. The tail is banded black and white, and the cere and legs are yellow-orange. Immatures are brown above and streaked white and brown below. The Gray Hawk occurs in river-edge habitats, forest edges and clearings, scrub, savanna, and agricultural land from Mexico and the southwestern United States south to northern Argentina. Birds at the northern end of the range in Mexico and the US are migratory, but the Gray Hawk is resident farther south. This species feeds mostly on reptiles, but also takes birds, rodents, and large insects. Gray Hawks typically hunt from a perch. Breeding birds engage in aerial courtship displays and build a stick nest in a tree or, in more open areas, in thorny shrub.

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© Gerrit Vyn

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

Recommended Citation

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