BUTEO POLYOSOMA PDF

Description[ edit ] The name variable hawk is fully deserved, as both sexes occur in several morphs. Adults of all have a white tail with a contrasting black subterminal band and grey wings barred dark in flight from below, the remiges appear whitish with fine barring and a broad black tip. The remaining plumage varies from very dark grey to whitish, and some individuals have reddish-brown to the underparts. Females usually have a reddish-brown back, which males usually lack, although at least some males also have this.

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Description[ edit ] The name variable hawk is fully deserved, as both sexes occur in several morphs. Adults of all have a white tail with a contrasting black subterminal band and grey wings barred dark in flight from below, the remiges appear whitish with fine barring and a broad black tip.

The remaining plumage varies from very dark grey to whitish, and some individuals have reddish-brown to the underparts. Females usually have a reddish-brown back, which males usually lack, although at least some males also have this. Overall, however, this species rates as a large Buteo. Habitat[ edit ] Variable hawks occupy open habitats at all elevations.

The red-backed race inhabits the widest range of areas of the variable hawk races, including above tree line in mountains, Pacific coastal foothills, Patagonian steppes , agricultural areas and edges of river galleries, beech woods and humid premontane and lowland forests. Though often the most likely race to be found in lowlands, even the red-backed is less than common below an elevation of m up to 3, m.

Smaller numbers of the latter race may visit mountain scrub and stunted Polylepis woodland at as low m but rarely below 2, m. Behavior[ edit ] They are most often seen soaring on warm thermals but may be seen on almost any type of raised perch from sign posts to large trees. Earthworms , weevils , orthopterans and other invertebrates are often taken.

The variable hawk hunts with prey being spotted while soaring from the air and pinned on the ground. Breeding is at various seasons and may be variable for all races. They build large stick nests on any elevated structure available, and sometimes breed cooperatively.

The incubation period is 26 to 36 days. The nestlings fledge anywhere from 40 to 74 days. The larger-bodied, high-elevation hawks take longer to incubate and much longer to fledge than lower elevation hawks.

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