Friday Creature Feature: Gray Hawk

The gray hawk (Buteo plagiatus) is a medium-sized, silvery gray hawk, that has white underparts, a black tail with white banding and yellow legs.

The gray hawk ranges from the Amazon rain forest all the way to the southwestern United States. They are migratory only at the North end of their range, where they arrive in southern Arizona in the Spring to breed and raise their young, then leave around October to winter in Mexico.

In Arizona they can be found in the evergreen oak woodlands, mesquite forests and cottonwood forests along riparian areas. They have short wings and a long tail that allows them to maneuver between trees. They nest in the tall trees and perch in the trees to locate prey. A large part of their diet comprises of reptiles, but also includes small mammals and birds.

Due to their limited range and seasonal occurrence in Arizona they are a popular with bird watchers and are a special treat to see on our wildlife cameras.


Animal Diversity Web

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