Zone-tailed Hawk

Buteo albonotatus




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to blue with purple and yellow brown spots

Number of Eggs:

1 - 3

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

In tree., 20 - 100 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Large sticks





Zone-tailed Hawk: Large hawk, mostly black except for barred flight feathers and black and white banded tail. Eyering is gray. Bill and legs are yellow. Sexes are similar. Juvenile is brown-black with fine white spots around head and breast, and black-barred, brown tail.

Range and Habitat

Zone-tailed Hawk: Breeds from northern South America to Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, where it is partially migratory. Strays reported from California and Nevada. Preferred habitats include deep, rough, and rocky wooded canyons and tree-lined rivers near mountains, valleys, or other "rugged" areas; hunts in open spaces such as desert grasslands or sparse forests.

Breeding and Nesting

Zone-tailed Hawk: One to three white to pale blue eggs, often spotted with brown, are laid in a large, loose nest made of sticks built in a large tree, 25 to 100 feet above the ground. Eggs are incubated primarily by the female for 35 days. Young fly in 6 to 7 weeks.

Foraging and Feeding

Zone-tailed Hawk: Feeds primarily on quail, small birds, lizards, small fish, and frogs; also eats large insects and small mammals. Soars and glides in circles when searching for food.


Zone-tailed Hawk: Call is a squealing whistle.

Similar Species

Zone-tailed Hawk: Turkey Vulture lacks tail bands and has no bars on flight feathers.

The upper front part of a bird.
Flight feathersX
Located on the wing, and collectively called remiges (singular, remex). The long stiff feathers are subdivided into two major groups based on the location and are called primaries and secondaries.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X