The short, compact, broad-winged hawk is the smallest of the buteos, or soaring hawks, even though their actions are typical of buteos. They are often seen flying over eastern forests rather than open country, where they favor eating frogs and toads in the spring, and mice, small rodents, snakes, lizards, large insects and an occasional young game bird at other times. They tend to feed by dropping down on prey from a branch high in the tree canopy.
about the size of a crow, brownish above with a rufous underbelly
marked with broken horizontal, whitish bars below. The
bands on the tail of the broad-wing are a
good way of telling whether a hawk is mature or immature.
An immature bird has narrow dark bands against a lighter
background, while a
mature bird has broad bands against a darker background.
Courtship displays involves whistling calls,
and soaring and swooping by both sexes. Small, crude stick nests are
set up in
deciduous or conifer trees in forests where red-tails and
do not nest. Broad-wings rarely use the same nest two years in a row. Two-to-four
incubated by the female for about 30 days.
Gary and Steve
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Steve & Wendy Hall
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