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Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus


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Short-tailed Hawk - immature male
credit:  Amendezg/CCSA

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Family: Accipitridae, Hawks and Eagles view all from this family

Description ADULT LIGHT MORPH Has mostly dark brown upperparts with rufous patch on side of neck; white patch in front of eye, and throat and underparts are clean white. In flight, white body, underwing coverts, and pale primary bases contrast with black primary tips and trailing edge to wing, and dark-barred secondaries and tertials. ADULT DARK MORPH Looks uniformly dark brown when perched. In flight from below, dark body and wing coverts (and black primary tips and trailing edge) contrast with pale primary bases and barred gray secondaries and tertials. JUVENILE LIGHT MORPH Similar to adult but upperparts are paler and underwing shows less distinct dark trailing edge. JUVENILE DARK MORPH Similar to adult but body and underwing coverts are barred.

Dimensions Length: 13-14" (33-36 cm); Wngspn: 35" (89 cm)

Habitat Common in Central and South America, with small resident population in Florida, rare sightings in southern Texas; favors grassland with scattered trees.

Observation Tips Visit the Everglades.

Range Florida

Voice Utters shrill screams.

Discussion Occurs as light and dark morphs. Could be confused with Broad-winged juveniles, which also occur as two color morphs. Note Short-tailed's dark secondaries and tertials seen from below (Broad-winged's are pale in both morphs) and, at rest, wingtips that reach tip of tail (wingtips are shorter than tail in Broad-winged). Given morph variation, sexes are similar.