Common Black Hawk

Buteogallus anthracinus




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White sometimes marked with brown

Number of Eggs:

1 - 3

Incubation Days:

38 - 39

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

15 - 100 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Dry sticks and misletoe.


Some migrate



Common Black Hawk: Large hawk, nearly all black with white patch just behind bill. Bill and feet are bright orange-yellow. Tail is black with single, thick white band and thin, white tip. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is brown-streaked with dark brown back, barred underwings, and finely banded tail.

Range and Habitat

Common Black Hawk: Breeds in limited areas of the southwest, from Arizona to Texas, throughout Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to Guyana. Resident in the southern portions of its range from Mexico south. Inhabits coastal lowlands of mixed savannah, dunes, ponds, lagoons and grasslands.

Breeding and Nesting

Common Black Hawk: One to three white eggs, sometimes marked with brown, are laid in nest made of dry sticks and mistletoe. Nest is usually built within 500 feet of permanent flowing water and is typically constructed 60 to 120 feet above the ground. Incubation lasts for 38 to 39 days and is carried out both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Common Black Hawk: Feeds on snakes, frogs, fish, young birds, and land crabs; may supplement diet with insects.


Common Black Hawk: Call is a nasal, high-pitched cry alarm. Loud and hoarse whistles are common during nesting season.

Similar Species

Common Black Hawk: Zone-tailed Hawk has paler underwings and two thick white bands on tail.

Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X