Roadside Hawk

Roadside Hawk


Profile Roadside Hawk
[Authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo magnirostris | [UK] Roadside Hawk |

[Authority] Gmelin, 1788 | [group] Kites, hawks and eagles | [order] ACCIPITRIFORMES | [family] Accipitridae | [latin] Buteo magnirostris | [UK] Roadside Hawk | [FR] Buse a gros bec | [DE] Wegebussard | [ES] Busardo Caminero | [NL] Wegbuizerd | copyright picture

copyright: K. Blomerley

Fairly small compared to other members of the Buteo genus, the Roadside Hawk can be identified by its lengthy tail and disproportionately short wings. The breast and underparts of the bird are barred brown and white and the tail has four or five grey bars. The eyes of the Roadside Hawk are usually yellow in color and rufous patches on the birds wings can be observed while the hawk is in flight.

With the possible exception of dense forests, the Roadside Hawk is well adapted to most ecosystems of its range. Lowland tropical areas to subtropical habitats, but not in the interior or large open savannahs. In most South American countries a very abundant species adapted to a range of habitats.

A common bird throughout its range, the Roadside Hawk can be found in Mexico, Brazil, and the Northern parts of Argentina. In Suriname the most numerous Hawk, found everywhere except in large patches of dense forest.

Roadside Hawks use still-hunting (hunting from a perch and dropping down to capture a prey item) or, to a much lesser extend, ground-hunting (walking on the ground and seizing prey in the talons) and aerial attacks on birds. The height of the perch is about 10 meter high. Reptiles comprise over half of the nestling diet overall. also Amphibians, Insects, mammals and birds. Lizards, frogs, and insects typically are delivered to nests intact, but most mammals are decapitated or partially eaten before delivery. Birds are plucked before they are brought to the prey exchange site.

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 very 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]

Builds a bulky nest of sticks and lined with leaves. The matures are very noisy around the nest which is mostly found in isolated, emergent trees. The clutch size is 1 (Venezuela) to 2 (Mexico) eggs, incubated for about 37 days. Will renest after brood failed.

Sedentary in all of its range.


  1. Measurements
  2. spanwidth min.: cm
  3. spanwidth max.: cm
  4. size min.: 33 cm
  5. size max.: 41 cm
  6. Breeding
  7. incubation min.: 36 days
  8. incubation max.: 38 days
  9. fledging min.: 0 days
  10. fledging max.: 38 days
  11. broods 1
  12. eggs min.: 1
  13. eggs max.: 2
  14. Conservation Status
  15. Roadside Hawk status Least Concern


  1. Buteo magnirostris pucherani
  2. Uruguay, e Argentina
  3. Buteo magnirostris magniplumis
  4. s Brazil, ne Argentina
  5. Buteo magnirostris nattereri
  6. ne Brazil
  7. Buteo magnirostris saturatus
  8. Bolivia and sw Brazil to w Argentina
  9. Buteo magnirostris occiduus
  10. w Brazil, e Peru and n Bolivia
  11. Buteo magnirostris magnirostris
  12. South America north of the Amazon
  13. Buteo magnirostris alius
  14. Pearl Is. (Panama)
  15. Buteo magnirostris petulans
  16. sw Costa Rica, sw Panama
  17. Buteo magnirostris sinushonduri
  18. Bonacca and Ruatan Is. (Honduras)
  19. Buteo magnirostris gracilis
  20. Cozumel and Holbox Is. (Mexico)
  21. Buteo magnirostris conspectus
  22. se Mexico, n Belize
  23. Buteo magnirostris griseocauda
  24. Mexico to w Panama
  25. Buteo magnirostris
  26. LA Mexico to ne Argentina
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