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The savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) is a large raptor found in open savanna and swamp edges. It was formerly placed in the genus Heterospizias. It breeds from Panama and Trinidad south to Bolivia, Uruguay and central Argentina.
The savanna hawk is 46–61 cm in length and weighs 845 g. The adult has a rufous body with grey mottling above and fine black barring below. The flight feathers of the long broad wings are black, and the tail is banded black and white. The legs are yellow. The call is a loud scream keeeeru.
Immature birds are similar to the adults but have darker, duller upperparts, paler underparts with coarser barring, and a whitish supercilium. This species perches very horizontally, and its legs are strikingly long.
Food and feeding
The savanna hawk feeds on small mammals, lizards, snakes, crabs and large insects. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey, but will also hunt on foot, and several birds may gather at grass fires.
- ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd edition ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
- Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
- A guide to the birds of Costa Rica by Stiles and Skutch ISBN 0-8014-9600-4
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