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Zone-tailed Hawk
Buteo albonotatus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Small Black Buzzard, Zone-tailed Buzzard.

Buteo albonotatus
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Distribution: Nearctic/Neotropical.  Southwestern UNITED STATES (southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, western Texas) and northwestern and north-central MEXICO south locally through Central America to PANAMA; South American range not continuous, but extends from western COLOMBIA south through western ECUADOR to central PERU, and northern COLOMBIA east through north and southeastern VENEZUELA to the GUIANAS; northern, eastern, and southeastern BRAZIL, excluding Amazonia, and northern ARGENTINA. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic. more....


Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). Northern populations are migratory, sometimes in association with Turkey Vultures and Swainson’s Hawks. The migratory status of the species is not well understood in the southern part of its range, especially Argentina (Bierregaard 1994, 1995), and the species is probably somewhat nomadic (Robinson 1994). more....

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowlands and foothills throughout its extensive range, preferring open country with scattered trees, or riparian areas in the arid southwestern U.S. and elsewhere. Individuals or pairs soar frequently with their wings set in a shallow dihedral posture like Turkey Vultures (which it often accompanies), often just above treetops, and this is thought to represent an example of aggressive mimicry which enables the hawk to approach prey more closely before stooping (Willis 1963). It also perches in trees at forest edges, often in shady areas. Usually solitary. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on birds, reptiles, and small mammals. Typically, this species soars above the canopy and dives on prey. It sometimes attends grass fires to capture small animals fleeing from the flames (Di Giacomo 2005). more....

Breeding: The nest is a platform of sticks lined with leafy twigs and placed 10-15 m high in a tree. Clutch size is 2 eggs, which are white or bluish-white and almost always immaculate. more....

Conservation: Although this species is uncommon, or only locally common, in many regions, it occurs over an extensive range and appears to be in no particular danger. The Zone-tailed Hawk is categorized by BirdLife International (2008) as a species of Least Concern. more....

Important References: 
Bent, A.C. 1937. Life histories of North American birds of prey. Order
  Falconiformes (Part 1). U.S. National Museum Bulletin 167.
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Zone-tailed Hawk. Pp. 183-184 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.
Johnson, R.R., R.L. Glinski, and S.W. Matteson. 2000. Zone-tailed Hawk
  Buteo albonotatus. In A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The Birds of North
  America no. 529.
Dunne, P, and D.A. Sibley. 2000. Zone-tailed Hawk. Birding 32:234-241.
Kennedy, P.L., D.E. Crowe, and T.F. Dean. 1995. Breeding biology of the
  Zone-tailed Hawk at the limit of its distribution. Journal of
  Raptor Research 29:110-116.
Mueller, H.C. 1972. Zone-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture: mimicry or
  aerodynamics? Condor 74:221-222.
Snyder, H. 1998. Zone-tailed Hawk. Pp. 99-101 in R.L. Glinski (ed.), The
  raptors of Arizona. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Willis, E. 1963. Is the Zone-tailed Hawk a mimic of the Turkey Vulture?
  Condor 68:104-105.
Zimmerman, D.A. 1976. Comments on feeding habits and vulture-mimicry in
  the Zone-tailed Hawk. Condor 78:420-421.

Sites of Interest:
Zone-tailed Hawk photos.
Aves de Rapaces do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Kennedy, Pat
Lambertucci, Sergio
Salvador Jr, Luiz

Last modified: 1/21/2012

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 6 Jul. 2020

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