Mangrove black hawk
|Mangrove black hawk|
|in Costa Rica|
Not recognized (IUCN 3.1)
(or Accipitriformes, q.v.)
|Subspecies:||B. anthracinus subtilis|
|Buteogallus anthracinus subtilis
(Thayer & Bangs, 1905)
The mangrove black hawk, Buteogallus anthracinus subtilis, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae. Briefly treated as a distinct species, Buteogallus subtilis, recent evidence strongly suggests it should be considered a subspecies of the common black hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus).
The mangrove black hawk is a resident breeding bird in the Neotropics from eastern Panama, through western Colombia and Ecuador, to far north-western Peru. Previously, it was incorrectly believed to occur as far north as Mexico, but all individuals from western Panama and northwards are nominate common black hawk.
The adult mangrove black hawk is 43–53 cm long and weighs around 930 g. It has very broad wings, and is mainly black with a brownish cast to the upper-wings. The short tail is black with a single broad white band and a white tip. The bill is black and the legs and cere are yellow.
Sexes are similar, but immature birds are dark brown above with spotting and streaks. Their underparts are buff to whitish with dark blotches, and the tail has a number of black and white bars.
The mangrove black hawk feeds mainly on crabs, but will also take small vertebrates and eggs. This species is often seen soaring, with occasional lazy flaps, and has a talon-touching aerial courtship display. The call of the mangrove black hawk is a distinctive piping spink-speenk-speenk-spink-spink-spink.