Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Short-tailed Hawk
Buteo brachyurus

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Increasing.

Other Names: Asturina brachyura, Buteola brachyura, Little Black Hawk.

Buteo brachyurus
click to enlarge
Distribution: Nearctic/Neotropical. Southern and southwestern UNITED STATES (Florida, Arizona) and eastern MEXICO south to western ECUADOR and northern ARGENTINA. more....

Subspecies: 2 races. B. b. fuliginosus : UNITED STATES (peninsular Florida, Arizona) and eastern MEXICO south to PANAMA; B. b. brachyurus: COLOMBIA south to western ECUADOR, east to the GUIANAS and BRAZIL, and south through eastern PERU and eastern BOLIVIA (La Paz, Cochabamba) to PARAGUAY, URUGUAY, and northeastern ARGENTINA (Jujuy, Tucumán, Misiones, Chaco); TRINIDAD.

Taxonomy: Formerly placed in the monotypic genus Buteola (Pinto 1938). Rand (1960), Brown and Amadon (1968), Blake (1977), and Stresemann and Amadon (1979) included B. albigula as a subspecies of brachyurus, but most recent authors (e.g. Sibley and Monroe 1990) have treated them as a superspecies. Hellmayr and Conover (1949) separated B. albigula, but regarded brachyurus as monotypic.

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). Northernmost populations are migratory, and some Florida birds may winter in Cuba (Rodríguez-Santana 2010). There are also some observations of apparently migratory birds in Central America (e.g., Slud 1964, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Jones 2004, Jones and Komar 2007), but the extent and nature of movements there is poorly documented. more....

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowlands and middle elevations in a wide variety of humid habitats, including forest edges, second-growth, open country, and savannas with scattered trees and woodland, usually near water. In Florida, the preferred habitat is mixed woodland savanna, and most nests are located in or near forested wetlands (Ogden 1974). In French Guiana, it is occasionally found in mangroves (Thiollay 2007). Spends much time soaring, sometimes at great heights. When perched inside the forest, this species is very unobtrusive. Usually seen singly, sometimes in twos, and is more wary than Broad-winged and Roadside Hawks (Slud 1964). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on rodents, birds, lizards, snakes, and insects. Hunts mostly in flight over the canopy (Thiollay 2007), diving into the forest canopy to snatch prey; less often hunts from a perch, or engages in aerial pursuits of swallows (Robinson 1994). In Florida, the prey is mainly small birds, including Eastern Meadowlarks and Red-winged Blackbirds, which are captured at the end of long, falcon-like vertical stoops (Ogden 1974). more....

Breeding: In Florida, the nest is a bulky platform of sticks lined with green leaves, placed in top of large tree. Clutch size is usually 2 eggs, which are white or bluish-white with heavy brown markings. Incubation periods ranging from 32 to 39 days have been reported from Florida nests (Ogden 1988, Stevenson and Anderson 1994, Meyer 2005). The nestling period may be unrecorded. more....

Conservation: Apparently uncommon, but probably often overlooked, and its status is unclear in most parts of its extensive range. Ogden (1978) estimated that there were no more than "several hundred" of these hawks in Florida. Categorized as "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2008). more....

Population Estimates: The isolated Florida population is estimated at no more than 200 breeding pairs (Meyers 2005).

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. Short-tailed Hawk. P. 180 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.
Miller, K.E., and K.D. Meyer. 2002. Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus).
  In A. Poole and F. Gill (eds.), The Birds of North America, no. 674.
Ogden, J.C. 1974. The Short-tailed Hawk in Florida. I. Migration, hunting
  techniques, and food habits. Auk 91:95-110.
Ogden, J.C. 1988. Short-tailed Hawk. Pp. 34-47 in R.S. Palmer (ed.),
  Handbook of North American birds. Vol. 5. Diurnal raptors, part 2. Yale
  University Press, New Haven, CT.

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

Lambertucci, Sergio
Salvador Jr, Luiz
Silveira da Silva, Elsimar

Last modified: 7/11/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 4 Jul. 2020

Home | Species Database | Species Accounts | Bibliography | Researchers | Related Sites | Login

Copyright © 1999-2012 The Peregrine Fund. All Rights Reserved.