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Gundlach's Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Cubanbirdguide
Zapata Swamp, Cuba, 10 April, 2017
Accipiter gundlachi


40–46 cm (15¾-18 in). Appears intermediate in plumage between Cooper's Hawk and Bicolored Hawk.

  • Dark grey upperparts
  • Tail broadly banded light and dark grey
  • Blackish-grey cap contrasting with pale bill
  • Greyish-white flanks and undertail-coverts conspicuous against darker fine grey barring on rufous-brown thighs and belly

Females are slightly larger than males and have a longer tail. Immatures have brown upperparts with brown streaking below and spotting on underwing.

Similar species

Differs from Cooper's Hawk in grey breast, from Bicolored Hawk in grey-and-rufous barring on belly and thighs.


Endemic to Cuba.
Has a very small range and a very fragmented population. Rare and local, estimated population c. 400 birds.


Forms a superspecies with Cooper's Hawk and Bicolored Hawk.


Two subspecies recognized[1]:

  • A. g. gundlachi:
  • Lowland forests of western and central Cuba
  • A. g. wileyi:
  • Lowland forests of eastern Cuba


Found in different types of lowland forest.



Not well studied. Has been recorded to take parrots, pigeons and doves, nighthawks, crows, Northern Bobwhite, Red-legged Thrush and domestic fowl.
Females presumably take larger prey in or above the canopy, males capture smaller prey in the understorey.


Not well known. Nest building recorded from January to April. The nest is build with sticks and placed 7-20 m up in a tree, usually close to the trunk. The nest is reused for several years. Lays 3 to 4 eggs.


This is a sedentary species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2021. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2021. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2014)

Recommended Citation

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.

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GSearch checked for 2020 platform.