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White Hawk - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies albicollis
Photo by: Dave B Smith
Pseudastur albicollis


Subspecies costaricensis
Photo by Stanley Jones
Rio Torti, Torti, Panamá Province, Panama, February 2018

47–51 cm (18½-20 in);

  • White head, body and underwings
  • Black upper wings
  • Short black tail with a broad white band
  • Black bill
  • Yellow legs

The sexes are similar, but females are larger and heavier.
Immature birds have extensive black spotting on the upperparts and dark-streaked whitish underparts.


  • ghiesbreghti: White with black markings on the outer primaries, black sub-terminal tail bar, yellow eyes
  • costaricensis: Distinct black markings on the wings and tail, brown eyes
  • williaminae: Wing feathers heavily marked with black, black streaks on the crown and collar, broader tail band, brown eyes


Central and South America
Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil.


Formerly included in the genus Leucopternis.


There are four subspecies[1]:

  • P. a. ghiesbreghti:
  • P. a. costaricensis:
  • P. a. williaminae:

P. a. albicollis:


Mature tropical rainforest, up to 1400 m. Sometimes seen in sub.tropical forests. Observed at 151 m in Panama.



Their diet consists of reptiles, large insects and mammals, including snakes, lizards, mice, rats and small opossums


They build a large stick platform nest in a tree. The clutch consists of 1 dark-blotched blue-white egg.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Feb 2018)
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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