Black hawk bird belongs to the seven groups of family Accipitridae and genus Buteogallus. It also includes hawk, eagles, and vultures. Common black hawk and great black hawk are its most common species. The scientific name of these common black hawk is Buteogallus anthracinus and Buteogallus urubitinga respectively.
How this bird is different from other hawks? Do they look like black kites? How they can be identified? All these questions are answered below.
What will I learn?
- 1 Black Hawk Birds- A Complete Overview
- 2 Conclusion:
This article provides you all the information that you NEED to know about Black hawk Birds.
Black Hawk Birds- A Complete Overview
The black hawk birds are medium-sized predators most commonly found in the areas of the USA.
Black Hawk Bird Identification:
Black hawk birds have broad wings, short tail, and long legs. They mostly have black or gray colored plumage. The short tail in common black hawk bird has a white tip whereas the great black hawk bird has a white tail with a broad black tip. The legs, cere, and bill are yellow, although they can be white too.
Unlike adults, young hawks are brown with streaks and spots. Their underparts are buff with dark spots, and the tail has several black and dusky bars. Although males and females look alike.
Specifications of Black Hawk Bird:
The black hawk birds have dark brown eyes. Common black hawk bird is 43- 53 cm long with an average weight of 793-1200 grams and a wingspan of 122 to 127 centimeters.
The great black hawk bird is 56 to 64 centimeters long with an average weight of 1.1 Kgs. Great black hawk is almost similar to common black hawk except that it is larger and has different tail and call patterns.
Black Hawk Bird – Habitat & Range:
The black hawk bird like other birds’ uses trees to nest and roost. They are birds of tropical and sub-tropical areas and can be found at an elevation of 500 meters.
These birds are distributed throughout America, Mexico, Peru, North Argentina, Venezuela, Trinidad, and the Caribbean Sea.
These birds usually reside in coastal areas, woodlands, mangroves swamps, tidal flats, and estuaries. during the migration routes, they roost and stay in wood cotton and willow trees beside the water.
Diet of Black Hawk bird:
These hawks are carnivorous just like other species of hawks and eagles. They mainly feed on a variety of small animals. These animals include crabs, fishes, lizards, snakes, frogs, tadpoles, rodents, small birds, insects, and many more.
They mostly hunt these animals by watching from a low perch and then glide down to catch their prey with talons. These hawks also prey by moving from rock to rock actively or capture prey from shallow waters.
They sometimes walk through the ground to catch their prey.
Nesting and Mating:
The mating period begins in late February and lasts until late May. As hawks are monogamous they form pairs during this time
The black hawk bird usually builds a nest 30 to 90’ above the ground in long tress most commonly in mangroves. Their nest consist of 15-100 sticks and this number tends to grow. Male hawk picks material for the nest and female hawk adds it to the rest. In this way, the nest grows bigger and bigger.
Their mating behavior includes dangling of long legs, calls, soaring, slow exaggerating wing beats, and circling movements at the start of the breeding season.
Moreover, during the breeding season, male hawks feed female hawks near their nests.
Eggs/ young ones:
Hawks usually lay 2 eggs or sometimes they can lay up to 3 eggs. These eggs are greenish-white in color blotched with lavender and brown spots. Usually both the parents take part in the process of incubation. But females incubate eggs most of the time. The incubation period lasts for 40 days.
After the eggs are being hatched. Male roam around and gather food for the young ones and female feeds them. Whereas female hawk remains there in the nest for first 2 to 3 weeks after the eggs are hatched. Young ones are grayish-white in a color that is quite different from the adult hawks.
Young ones after 6 to 7 weeks can fly to nearby areas and trees and after 10 weeks they are grown enough to feed and protect themselves. until 10 weeks female and male both look after them.
Calls and sounds:
Common black hawk bird sounds include a series of ringing whistles while soaring. This series also includes shrill whistling sound which accelerates at the end as “Klee Klee keer kir”. Common black hawk bird sometimes makes short slower whistles.
Unlike common black hawk, the great black hawk bird has loud harsh screams. It is different from the common hawk and goes like piping ooo-wheeeeee.
Also, see 16 California Hawks
As mentioned above the black hawk birds resides near mangroves and wetland. Destruction of wetlands has disturbed their population. These species are vulnerable to destruction so they have to suffer.
The population of the Common Black Hawk Bird is 2,000,000 individuals according to IUCN, therefore this species is classified as Least Concern on the Red List of animals. Moreover, the number of animals in this species is decreasing because of their low reproduction potential.
According to IUCN, the population of the great black hawk bird is rather stable. The population size is large and hence does not crossed the threshold levels to be vulnerable although they are also facing problems like habitat destruction.
Facts about Black Hawk Birds:
Also, see Facts about birds
- Hawks have very sharp eyesight. They can see their prey from a distance of 100 meters above the ground.
- They are also able to differentiate between colors.
- Do you know? Hawks are major acrobats!! They can fight in their flights just over food.
- Black hawk bird has a longer lifespan as compared to other birds. They can live up to 24 years.
- Hawks can see their prey from 15 meters high in the air. They also walk on the ground in search of small animals.
Black hawk birds are one of the most threatening carnivorous birds found along with the states of America. They also migrate at the start of their breeding seasons along the river valleys and roost at night in the cottonwood and willow trees.
They usually do not make any sounds during the time of migration. But when they do it is not that bad.