Short-tailed Hawk

General description.

The "Short-tailed Hawk" has a banded, black-and-white tail, yellow cere and yellow legs and feet. In its habitat of south Florida, this bird is easily identified as the only hawk that is pure black and pure white above and below. A member of the genus Buteo, it is not a true hawk and thus also referred to as a "buteo" or (outside North America) "buzzard".

Juvenile appearance.

Immatures are like adults, but with more numerous tail bands.

Flight pattern.

The "Short-tailed Hawk" will hunt from high in the air, securing its prey in deep and swift dives.

Breeding habits.

"Short-tailed Hawks" breed in the tropical and subtropical Americas from southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina north through Central America to northern Mexico, as well as in southern Florida, USA.

Calls or song.

The Short-tailed has a high-pitched squeal, "kleeeea" dropping in pitch at the end. Away from the nest this bird of prey is generally silent.

Population and distribution.

The "Short-tailed Hawk" is uncommon and local in most of its range. But due to its wide extent of occurrence, it is not considered threatened.

Nesting habits.

This hawk builds a stick nest in a Cypress Tree. She lines it with leaves and sometimes decorates it with Spanish moss. Here she lays two white eggs spotted with brown.

Similar birds:

Broad-winged Hawk Photo Broad-winged Hawk
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