Animals of Costa Rica

Roadside Hawk

Category: Birds

It is a small hawk with short rounded wings. It has a pale-grey head with a brown body, and a striped brown-and-white chest and tail. There are 12 recognized sub-species which all have slight variations in appearance. They weigh between 250-300g and measure 33-41cm in length.

Taxonomy (Buteo magnirostris)
Spanish Name Gavilan chapulinero
Conservation Status Least concern
Distribution Throughout most of Central and South America
Behavior As suggested by their name, you can often see them near roads, perching on fence posts and on telephone wires. They are not a social species and so are usually seen alone. They have a distinctive shrill screech which is an easy way to identify them when perching. 
Diet They have quite a variable diet which includes insects, reptiles, small mammals and occasionally birds.
Reproduction Roadside hawks are more territorial during breeding season and it is common to hear a wider variety of calls. They create compact nests using twigs, leaves and tree bark which can measure upto 46cm in diameter and 36cm deep. They lay 2 small eggs and incubate them for 37 days.
Threats There are no documented threats on IUCN, except for the predation of their nests by humans.
At Alturas Although it is not a common rescue, we have seen several throughout the years and often see them flying over the sanctuary and hear them while they are perching in nearby trees.