Hawaiian hawks are graceful birds of prey native to Hawai'i. They exist in two color phases: a dark phase (dark brown head, breast, and underwings), and a light color phase (dark head, light breast and light underwings). Feet and legs are yellowish in adults and greenish in juveniles. During breeding season one of the pair, possibly the female, has a distinctive yellow forecap area just above the upper mandible.
Hawaiian hawks don't migrate and are generally, defending their territory year-round. They are active during the day. These birds are strong fliers and hunt from a stationary position, but can also dive on prey from the air. Hawaiian hawks are opportunistic predators and are versatile in their feeding habits. They have a shrill and high-pitched call much like their Hawaiian name: "eeeh-oh." They are very noisy during the breeding season.
Hawaiian hawks are monogamous and form pair bonds that last for years and sometimes even for life. These birds nest from March through September, and usually lay only one egg; however, sometimes they could lay up to three in their clutch. The female does the majority of incubation during the 38 days, while the male does the majority of the hunting. After the egg is hatched, the female allows the male to visit only when delivering food to the nest. The chick fledges at seven or eight weeks and parents usually care for their young within 30 weeks.
Hawaiian hawks are threatened by illegal hunting, the degradation of their native forest habitat, poisoning, vehicle collisions, starvation, and predation from other animals.
According to the IUCN Red List, the total Hawaiian hawk breeding population is around 1,100 mature individuals. Currently, this species is classified as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List but its numbers today remain stable.