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Short-tailed Hawk Identification

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The Four Keys to ID

  • Size & Shape

    A fairly small hawk with broad wings and long secondaries, giving a bulging outline to the trailing edge of the wing. Despite its common name, the tail is not particularly short compared to other buteos.

    Relative Size

    Larger than a Mississippi Kite, slightly smaller than a Red-shouldered Hawk; similar in size to Broad-winged Hawk.

    Relative Sizebetween crow and goosebetween crow and goose

    • Both Sexes
      • Length: 15.3-17.3 in (39-44 cm)
      • Weight: 13.6-16.9 oz (385-480 g)
      • Wingspan: 32.7-40.5 in (83-103 cm)

Regional Differences

North American nesters belong to subspecies fuliginosus, which is medium brown above (in the light morph), with brown at the side of the neck, unlike South American brachyurus, which is quite black above and lacks brown on the neck.