Common Black-Hawk

Buteogallus anthracinus
Range Map

The Common Black Hawk breeds in the warmer parts of the Americas, from the Southwestern USA through Central America to Venezuela, Peru, and the Caribbean coast of South America. We often find these hawks near water where they feed extensively on crustaceans they find there, but small vertebrate prey and eggs are also on their menu.

Most of my meetings have been near the Gila Mountains of New Mexico, though I once found a juvenile foraging on the ground in dry brushy fields near Sierra Vista (Arizona).

Today, science recognises five subspecies of Common Black Hawk:

  • B. a. anthracinus lives in southwestern USA (Arizona and New Mexico) south through Mexico and Central America to Panama and northern South America, and the Lesser Antilles.
  • B. a. utilensis lives on islands off Yucatan and Central America.
  • B. a. rhizophorae lives on the Pacific coast southern Mexico and northern Central America.
  • B. a. bangsi on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica and Panama.
  • B. a. subtilis in Pacific coast of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and possibly Ecuador.

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