Grey Hawk

Grey Hawk

Summary:

Profile Grey Hawk
[Authority] Latham, 1790 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo nitidus | [UK] Grey Hawk |

[Authority] Latham, 1790 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo nitidus | [UK] Grey Hawk | [FR] Buse cendree | [DE] Zweibinden-Bussard | [ES] aguililla gris | [NL] Grijze Buizerd | copyright picture

copyright: D. DesJardin

The grey Hawk is 46-61 cm in length and weighs 475 g. The adult has a pale grey body, the tail is black with three white bands and the legs are orange.

Immature birds have dark brown upperparts, a pale-banded brown tail, brown-spotted white underparts and a brown streaked buff head and neck. This species is quite short-winged, and has a fast agile flight for a Buteo.

Open woodland, pasturelands, and generally open country with scattered trees, primarily in arid situations (Tropical and Subtropical zones). In U.S. usually found in riparian woodlands near open areas. Common in hedgerows between crop fields in wintering areas in Mexico.

The Grey Hawk Buteo nitidus is a smallish raptor found in open country and forest edges. It is sometimes placed in the genus Asturina as Asturina nitid. It breeds from the southwestern USA and Mexico south to Bolivia, Brazil and central Argentina. It is fairly common on Trinidad, and there have been recent sightings on Tobago.

The grey Hawk feeds mainly on lizards and snakes, but will also take small mammals, birds and frogs. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey, but will also hunt from a low glide. The call is a shrill whistled kleee-ooo.


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 birdlife.org]


The nest is of sticks and built high in a tree. The usual clutch is one to three, usually two white eggs, pale blue with red markings. The young take about 6 weeks to fledging.

Sedentary in most of its range, Northern populations migratory.

Specification

  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 87 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 93 cm
  4. size min.: 40 cm
  5. size max.: 56 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 31 days
  8. incubation max.: 33 days
  9. fledging min.: 28 days
  10. fledging max.: 33 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 2
  13. eggs max.: 3
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Grey Hawk status Least Concern

Subspecies

  1. Buteo nitidus pallidus
  2. s Brazil, e Bolivia, Paraguay, n Argentina
  3. Buteo nitidus nitidus
  4. Trinidad, n Amazonia
  5. Buteo nitidus blakei
  6. sw Costa Rica to w Ecuador
  7. Buteo nitidus plagiatus
  8. sw USA to nw Costa Rica
  9. Buteo nitidus
  10. NA, LA sw USA to nc Argentina
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