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Zone-tailed Hawk

Buteo albonotatus ORDER: ACCIPITRIFORMES FAMILY: ACCIPITRIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A dark, tropical hawk, the Zone-tailed Hawk just reaches the southwestern United States in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
17.7–22 in
45–56 cm
Wingspan
46.9–55.1 in
119–140 cm
Weight
4.2–4.9 oz
119–140 g
Other Names
  • Aguililla aura
  • (French)
  • Buse à queue barrée (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The Zone-tailed Hawk is aggressive in the defense of its nesting territory, attacking animals as large as Golden Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, and humans.
  • The Zone-tailed Hawk looks very similar in flight to Turkey Vultures, and it often flies with them. It has been suggested that the hawk is a mimic of the vulture and uses its similarity to sneak up on prey that would not hide from vultures.

Habitat


Open Woodland

Arid, semi-open country, especially open deciduous or pine-oak woodland, often nesting in tall trees along streams.

Food


Birds

Birds, mammals, and lizards.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
1–3 eggs
Condition at Hatching
Helpless and covered in down.
Nest Placement

Tree

Behavior


Soaring

The Zone-tailed Hawk engages in spectacular courtship displays, performing aerial loops, dives, and rolls, with both male and female diving from heights of about 300-500 m (1,000-1,600 ft).

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Increasing in the United States.

Credits

  • Johnson, R. R., R. L. Glinski, and S. W. Matteson. 2000. Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus). In The Birds of North America, No. 529 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Zone-tailed Hawk Range Map
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