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Rufous Crab Hawk
Buteogallus aequinoctialis

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Aequinoctial Crab-hawk, Aequinoctial Hawk, Equinoctial Buzzard, Rufous Hawk.

Buteogallus aequinoctialis
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Distribution: Neotropical. Eastern VENEZUELA (Orinoco Delta) and the GUIANAS along Atlantic coast to BRAZIL (Paraná). more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: This species is related to the B. anthracinus complex, but not as closely as the other forms (anthracinus, gundlachii, subtilis) in that group are to each other (Lerner et al. 2008). more....

Movements: Probably non-migratory.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs exclusively in mangroves and swampy coastal vegetation, perching at low to medium heights (Hilty 2003). Also often circles at great heights (Sick 1993), although described as sedentary by Murphy (2004).more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: A dietary specialist, apparently feeding almost exclusively on crabs, although the stomach of a bird collected by Voous (1969) in Suriname contained a fish. These species hunts by sitting on a low branch over a creek and plunging down into the mud, where it seizes a crab with its talons and carries it off to a dry perch (Haverschmidt 1962). The bills and feet of birds are often covered by mud from their feeding habits. more....

Breeding: No information.

Conservation: Common within most of its range, but highly susceptible to possible future loss of mangrove habitat (Márquez Reyes et al. 2000). Olson (2006) suggested that the larger Common Black Hawk may gradually be replacing this species, as they occur in sympatry only in very limited areas, as might be expected if one was replacing the other. Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2007).

Important References: 
Amadon, D. 1961. Remarks on the genus Buteogallus. Novedades Colombianas
Amadon, D. 1982. A revision of the sub-buteonine hawks (Accipitridae,
  Aves). American Museum Novitates 2741.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Rufous Crab-hawk. P. 173 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona,Spain.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Lerner, H.R.L., M.C. Klaver, and D.P. Mindell. 2008. Molecular
  phylogenetics of the buteonine birds of prey (Accipitridae). Auk
Olson, S.L. 2006. Fossil evidence of the Rufous Crab-Hawk (Buteogallus
) in Jamaica. Journal of Raptor Research 40:284-287.
Sick, H. 1993. Birds in Brazil: a natural history. Princeton University
  Press, Princeton, NJ.
Voous, K.H. 1969. Predation potential in birds of prey from Surinam. Ardea

Sites of Interest:
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Raposo do Amaral, Fábio

Last modified: 2/8/2009

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Rufous Crab Hawk Buteogallus aequinoctialis. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 26 May. 2020

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