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Birds of Cuba, Vagrant Visitors, Introduced Birds and Possibilities

Broad-winged Hawk

Petite Buse

Buteo platypterus

Birds of North America
  • BOC
  • BOC
  • BOC
  • BOC
  • BOC
B L W W W Family Latin Name
15" 38cm 34" 86.4cm 14oz 396g Accipitridae Buteo platypterus

Species: The Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus), a crow-size hawk, is the smallest member of the buteos seen in North America. This unassuming bird of prey is found in forested areas. Commonly seen along highways and roads, perched on utility lines, watching for any movement in the grasses or on the forest floors. This specific hawk is known for its large numbers, that can be seen in any one flock (called "kettles"), during its migration period, in which hundreds of Broad-winged Hawk can be seen at one time. Numbering in the hundreds of thousands, when all the flocks are counted at the end of their fall and spring migration periods.

Distinctions: The males and females are similar in appearance, females are larger than male birds. Brown back, wings and tail feathers. Lightly coloured tanned breast, with large rufous to reddish brown streaks, each streak made up of a series of triangles, one above the other. Easily identified in flight by the equal sized large bands on tail feathers, showing light and dark rows. Dark morphed birds are possible, usually located in the western regions. Juvenile similar to the parent, but with a softer look, and without the same sharp definitions.

Voice: Repeated whistles, not what one would expect from a bird of prey.

Nesting: Three to four white eggs, with brown spots, one brood per year. Builds its nest in trees, either a deciduous or mixed forest.

  • Breeding
  • Year Around
  • Winter

Broad-winged Hawk range

The Broad-winged Hawk is found throughout most of eastern North America's forests. It is seen from Nova Scotia, forming a finger reaching west, out into the prairies, and beyond to British Columbia, down through the central USA states, to Texas and east to Georgia. They migrate into South America every fall for the winter months. It has been a vagrant in Cuba.

Birds of Cuba