Ridgways Hawk

Ridgways Hawk


Profile Ridgways Hawk
[Authority] Cory, 1883 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo ridgwayi | [UK] Ridgways Hawk |

[Authority] Cory, 1883 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo ridgwayi | [UK] Ridgways Hawk | [FR] Buse de Ridgway | [DE] Haitibussard | [ES] Busardo de la Espanola | [NL] Ridgways Buizerd | copyright picture

copyright: David Ascanio

Medium-sized, compact hawk. Adult has brown-grey upperparts, greyish barred underparts with reddish-brown wash, rufous thighs and black-and-white barred tail. White crescent-shaped wing panels or -windows- visible during flight are diagnostic. Male slightly smaller (330-350g) than female (360-420g). Male is greyer than female and has rufous carpal area (paler rufous in female). Female also paler below and more barred. Immature has buffy white underparts with grey and brown streaks, and less well marked tail. Red-tailed Hawk B. jamaicensis is larger and adults have reddish tail.

It occurs up to 2,000 m in a variety of undisturbed forest-types including rainforest, subtropical dry and moist forests, pine forest and limestone karst forest, and is occasionally seen in secondary and agricultural habitats.

Ongoing monitoring at Los Limones in the east of Los Haitises National Park shows a 5-10% annual decline in the number of individuals at this site, equating to a decline over ten years of 40-65%. Declines in the west of the park are expected to be continuing at a similar, although perhaps slower rate, hence overall rates of decline are perhaps best estimated to fall within the band 30-50% over ten years. However, forest clearance within the park boundary remains rapid with an annual loss of c.10-15%, thus careful monitoring is a priority and it may reveal that a higher rate of decline is occurring

Prey consists primarily of lizards, snakes and frogs. Hawks will occasionally prey on small mammals (bats and rodents), centipedes and small birds

This species is considered Critically Endangered because it has an extremely small and fragmented population, which continues to decline. Only effective protection of Los Haitises National Park and captive breeding and release are likely to save this species from extinction. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Display flights begin in January, occurring most often between 1000-1200 h, and nest building, done mostly by the male, begins in late February. The nest is a platform of sticks placed high in a tree or palm in dense vegetation. Clutch size is 1-3 eggs (usually 2), which are chalky cream and heavily marked with orange-red mottling. The female performs most all of the incubation, with the male participating to a lesser extent. In one study, males captured 91% of prey brought to the nests.



  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: 0 cm
  3. spanwidth max.: 0 cm
  4. size min.: 35 cm
  5. size max.: 40 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 28 days
  8. incubation max.: 29 days
  9. fledging min.: 48 days
  10. fledging max.: 54 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 1
  13. eggs max.: 3
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Ridgways Hawk status Critically Endangered
Join the discussion