Broad-winged Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk


Profile Broad-winged Hawk
[Authority] Vieillot, 1823 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo platypterus | [UK] Broad-winged Hawk |

[Authority] Vieillot, 1823 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo platypterus | [UK] Broad-winged Hawk | [FR] Petite Buse | [DE] Breitflugel-Bussard | [ES] Busardo Aliancho | [NL] Breedvleugelbuizerd | copyright picture

copyright: J. Gonzalez y F. Collazo

A small, chunky buteo, the size of a crow. Note tail banding of adult -white bands about as wide
as the black ones. Wing linings white. The rare dark morph, which breeds in Alberta, has dark wing linings, but shows the usual Broad-wing tail pattern.
Tail bands more numerous, restricting the white. Often migrates in soaring flocks.

Woods, groves. Typically breeds in deciduous forest or mixed coniferous-deciduous forest, often near water and near clearings or edges. Migrants may be seen over any kind of open country, but tend to stop for the night in forest or extensive groves of tree

Includes small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds. Varied diet includes mice, voles, squirrels, other small m
ammals; toads, frogs, snakes, lizards, young turtles; various small birds; large insects. Sometimes eats crayfish, fish, centipedes, earthworms. Behavior:
Hunts by watching for prey from a perch, usually located along edge of woods or near water. When prey is spotted, the hawk swoops down rapidly to capture the creature in its talons. Occasionally hunts by flying through the woods or along watercourses, ac
tively searching for prey.

This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence 30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from]

Early in breeding season, pairs circle high in the air, calling. In display, one bird may fly high, then dive steeply.
Nest: Site is usually in lower part of large tree, 25 –
40 above ground. Nest (built by both sexes) a rather small platform of sticks, lined with bark, moss, leaves. Leafy green twigs added during nesting cycle. Often uses preexisting nest of hawk, crow, or squirrel, adding material to it.
Clutch Usually 2 -3, sometimes 1 -4. Whitish, usually spotted with brown. Incubation almost entirely by female, 28 –
31 days. Male brings food to female during incubation, then may sit on eggs while she eats.
Young: Female remains with young almost constantly for first 1 -2 weeks; male brings food, female feeds it to nestlings. Young may climb out of nest onto nearby branches at about 4 –
5 weeks; can fly at about 5 -6 weeks and soon start learning to hunt.

Southern Canada, eastern United States. Winters mainly in Central and South America. Migration: A long-distance migrant, most going to South America for the winter. Migrates in flocks. Birds from throughout the East trav
el southwest or south to go around, not across, the Gulf of Mexico.


  1. Measurements
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  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 0 days
  8. incubation max.: 0 days
  9. fledging min.: 0 days
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  11. broods 0
  12. eggs min.: 0
  13. eggs max.: 0
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Broad-winged Hawk status Least Concern


  1. Buteo platypterus antillarum
  2. St. Vincent, Grenada (Lesser Antilles) Tobago
  3. Buteo platypterus rivierei
  4. Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia (Lesser Antilles)
  5. Buteo platypterus insulicola
  6. Antigua I. (Lesser Antilles)
  7. Buteo platypterus brunnescens
  8. Puerto Rico
  9. Buteo platypterus cubanensis
  10. Cuba
  11. Buteo platypterus platypterus
  12. c and se Canada, e USA
  13. Buteo platypterus
  14. NA e, c
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