Great black hawk
|Great black hawk|
The great black hawk is a resident breeding bird in the tropical New World, from Mexico through Central America to Peru, Trinidad and northern Argentina. It resembles the common black hawk, but is larger with a different call and tail pattern.
This is a mainly coastal bird of forest and open woodland near water. It builds a large stick nest in a tree, and usually lays one dark-blotched whitish egg.
The adult great black hawk is 56 to 64 centimeters long and weighs 1.1 kilograms. It has very broad wings, and is mainly black. The short tail is white with a broad black tip. The bill is black and the legs and cere are yellow.
The sexes are similar, but immature birds are dark brown above with spotting and streaks. Their underparts are buff with dark spots, and the tail has a number of black and dusky bars. The call of great black hawk is a distinctive piping ooo-wheeeeee.
The great black hawk feeds mainly on reptiles, other small vertebrates and large insects, often hunted on foot. This species is often seen soaring above woodlands. Along Amazon rivers it has been observed raiding hoatzin nesting colonies looking for eggs and chicks.
- ffrench, Richard (1991). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago (2nd ed.). Comstock Publishing. ISBN 0-8014-9792-2.
- Hilty, Steven L (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
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