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Slate-colored Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Douglas Bolt
Amazon River, July 2004
Buteogallus schistaceus


45-48 cm (17¼-19 in)
Medium slate-grey in colour, contrasting white horizontal banding on its tail feathers, white breast with vertical black markings. It has a large orange cere at the base of its beak, and large yellow eyes.

Similar Species

Slender-billed Kite is much smaller with more delicate bill, pale eyes and no white in the tail. Snail Kite has white base to tail, not a white tail-band. Crane Hawk has dark cere, longer legs, more slender body. Great Black Hawk is much larger with yellow cere and legs.


Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and French Guiana.


Formerly placed in genus Leucopternis.


This is a monotypic species1.




A "sit-and-wait" predator easily overlooked when concealed on a perch within the forest.


Includes frogs, crabs, snakes, and small mammals.




A descending piercing whistle.




  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. SACC proposal] for taxonomy including this species
  3. Amaral, F.S.R., Miller, M.J., Silveira, L.F., Bermingham, E. & Wajntal, A. (2006) Polyphyly of the hawk genera Leucopternis and Buteogallus (Aves, Accipitridae): multiple habitat shifts during the Neotropical buteonine diversification. BMC Evolutionary Biology 6(10): 1–21.
  4. Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2019). Slate-colored Hawk (Buteogallus schistaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53101 on 22 July 2019).
  5. Global Raptor Information Network. 2019. Species account: Slate-colored Hawk Buteogallus schistaceus. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 22 Jul. 2019
  6. Slate-colored Hawk (Buteogallus schistaceus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/slchaw2

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