Ornate hawk-eagle

Ornate hawk-eagle

Spizaetus ornatus

The ornate hawk-eagle is a fairly large bird of prey from the tropical Americas. Formerly, some authorities referred to this species as the crested hawk-eagle, a name that may cause some confusion as it is more commonly used for an Asian eagle species. Like all eagles, it is in the family Accipitridae. This species has a feathered tarsus that marks it as a member of the Aquilinae or booted eagle subfamily. This species is notable for the vivid colors and bold markings of adults, which differ considerably from the far more whitish plumage of the juvenile bird. The ornate hawk-eagle ranges from central Mexico south through much of Central America and in a somewhat spotty but broad overall range into South America, including in the west apart from the Andes and broadly on the Atlantic side especially Brazil down to as far as Southeast Brazil and northern Argentina. This species is found largely in primary forests with tall trees, although can be found in many forest types. The ornate hawk-eagle female lays almost always a single egg and the species has a fairly prolonged breeding cycle like many tropical raptors, especially due to a lengthy post-fledging stage on which juveniles are dependent on their parents. It is a diversified and exceptionally powerful predator which takes a range of prey, usually various medium-to-large-sized birds and small-to-medium-sized mammals as well as occasional reptiles. Like many forest-dependent raptors, especially those in the tropical and subtropical regions, this species is likely under the pressing threat of deforestation. The decline of forest habitat in this species range, especially the Amazon rainforest, led the IUCN to uplist the ornate hawk-eagle as Near Threatened in 2016.

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Habits and Lifestyle

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition


1. Ornate hawk-eagle Wikipedia article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornate_hawk-eagle
2. Ornate hawk-eagle on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/22696197/93548774
3. Xeno-canto bird call - https://xeno-canto.org/649053

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