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Great Black Hawk
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Falconiformes (or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteogallus
Species: B. urubitinga
Binomial name
Buteogallus urubitinga
(Gmelin, 1788)

The Great Black Hawk, Buteogallus urubitinga, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks and Old World vultures.

The Great Black Hawk is a resident breeding bird in the tropical New World, from Mexico through Central America to Peru, Trinidad and northern Argentina. It resembles the Common Black Hawk, but is larger with a different call and tail pattern.

This is a mainly coastal bird of forest and open woodland near water. It builds a large stick nest in a tree, and usually lays one dark-blotched whitish egg.

The adult Great Black Hawk is 56 to 64 centimeters long and weighs 1.1 kilograms. It has very broad wings, and is mainly black. The short tail is white with a broad black tip. The bill is black and the legs and cere are yellow.

The sexes are similar, but immature birds are dark brown above with spotting and streaks. Their underparts are buff with dark spots, and the tail has a number of black and dusky bars. The call of Great Black Hawk is a distinctive piping ooo-wheeeeee.

The Great Black Hawk feeds mainly on reptiles, other small vertebrates and large insects, often hunted on foot. This species is often seen soaring above woodlands.

References

  • BirdLife International (2004). Buteogallus urubitinga. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 10 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  • ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.  
  • Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.  
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