Black Hawk-eagle Spizaetus tyrannus

Brazilian name:
Gavião-pega-macaco
Black Hawk-Eagle, Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, November 2008 - click for larger image Brazil

The Black Hawk-eagle is distributed from Mexico through Central America and south to north-east Argentina and south-east Brazil although it seems to be missing from much of Venezuela. It is found in humid forest, along rivers and in secondary woodland.

Black Hawk-eagle, Borba, Amazonas, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image In flight, note the short and very broad wings with rounded tips that are narrow at the bases and swept a bit forward. Hilty calls them "butterflylike in shape". It has a long tail which is usually closed when soaring.

When not soaring, which seems to be display behaviour often accompanied by clear whistling cries, it is usually to be found in the forest canopy where it perches while looking for prey. This consists of birds as large as chachalacas and toucans as well as small monkeys, squirrels, snakes and lizards.

There are recordings on xeno-canto, a distribution map from NatureServe and additional information available via Avibase.

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