Broad-winged Hawk

The Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus) is a small hawk found in wooded areas in eastern North America. They are long distance migrants (traveling in large flocks) and spend their winters in Central and South America.

Adults have short broad wings, dark brown upperparts and evenly-spaced black and white bands on the tail. There are two color forms:

  • Light morph birds are pale on the underparts and underwing. They have thick red bars on the belly.
  • Dark morph birds are a darker brown on both upperparts and underparts. They are much less common than the light-colored variant.

They build a stick nest relatively low in a large tree.

To hunt, these birds wait on a perch and swoop down on prey, also sometimes flying in search of prey. Their diet consists of small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, small birds and large insects.

Although this bird’s numbers are relatively stable, populations are declining in some parts of its range due to forest fragmentation.