Zone-tailed Hawk Life History


Habitat ForestsArid, semi-open country, especially open deciduous or pine-oak woodland, often nesting in tall trees along streams.Back to top


Food BirdsBirds, mammals, and lizards.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Tree

Nesting Facts
Clutch Size:1-3 eggs
Condition at Hatching:Helpless and covered in down.
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Behavior Soaring (raptor)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).Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernZone-tailed Hawk populations may be increasing in the United States. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million, with 6% breeding in the U.S., and 15% spending part of the year in Mexico. They rank a 10 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and are not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.Back to top


Crossley, R., J. Liguori, and B. Sullivan. (2013). The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors. Princeton University Press, New Jersery, USA.

Johnson, R. Roy, Richard L. Glinski and Sumner W. Matteson. 2000. Zone-tailed Hawk (Buteo albonotatus), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, USA.

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