The White-tailed Hawk

White-tailed Hawk (Geranoaetus albicaudatus) with snake at Annai (Photo by Kester Clarke www.kesterclarke.net)

(Geranoaetus albicaudatus) is a large bird of prey found in tropical or subtropical environments across the Americas.

Adult birds are grey above and white below and on the rump, with faint pale grey or rufous barring. The short tail is white with a narrow black band near the end that is conspicuous in flight.

A rusty-red shoulder patch is just as characteristic when the bird is sitting with wings closed. The wings are dark above, admixed with grey near the bases of the blackish primary remiges.

The underwing is whitish, with indistinct brownish barring on the underwing coverts that extends onto the flanks and thighs. The iris is hazel, the cere is pale green, the beak is black with a horn-colored base, and the feet are yellow with black talons.

The White-tailed Hawk feeds on small vertebrates and invertebrates, including snakes, lizards, young rabbits, rats and frogs.

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