Friday, July 10, 2009

Venezuelan Raptor Week 2: Roadside Hawk

So I finally narrowed down the 2 contenders for the last entry into Venerzuelan Raptor Week 2 – the winner, the roadside hawk, is below and the "loser" which lost by virtue of being spectacular enough to deserve a couple of posts will feature sometime down the road. There are a couple of others that will turn up sooner or later too but we have reptiles, passerines, amphibians, herons, mammals, storks, fish and cycads to turn our attention to as well.


So my first thought on seeing this guy was wow that looks totally like a sprawk, gos, coopers or sharp-shin, what a typical Accipter hawk….which shows what I know because apparently this smallish raptor actually fits into the genus Buteo with the European buzzard and red-tailed hawk.

roadside hawk4

It is a common raptor from Mexico down to north east Argentina and by all accounts plumage varies considerably so some of them will look a lot less sprawkish. Dietwise it likes to mix it up taking prey as large as very small monkeys (common marmoset for example) right down to insects. They will also take birds but not that regularly which surprises me because as this photo illustrates they are pretty deft on the wing.


I don't have a lot more to say about these beyond the fact that, like a lot of raptors, for what is essentially a grey and white bird they are rather beautiful


jason said...

Magnificent bird! Those eyes... I could lost in them for hours.

Mike said...

These are gorgeous photos of what is often a rumpled, undistinguished raptor. Most of the roadside hawks I've seen have been shaggy juveniles.