The White-tailed Hawk, (Buteo albicaudatus), is a large bird of prey found in tropical or sub-tropical environments.
Distribution and habitat
The White-tailed Hawk could be found anywhere from southern Texas to Central Argentina as well as many Caribbean Islands, although mostly southern. For habitats it prefers open or semi-open regions where there are few trees to hinder its flight.
Size and description
Averaging 62 cm in length with a wing span of around 1.2 m, the White-tailed Hawk is a large, stocky creature. Adult birds are gray above but white below, with a narrow black band on its short, white tail. Immature birds are some what darker than adults and have grey tails.
The diet of the White-tailed Hawk varies with its environment. Rabbits make up the majority of the hawk's diet in southern Texas while lizards are the preferred prey in the Dutch West Indies. Other animals such as cotton rats, snakes, frogs, insects, and birds like quails are also eaten. The White-tailed hawk is known to feed on carrion and chickens when no other source of food is available.
Breeding pairs of White-tailed Hawk build nests (five to fifteen feet above the ground on top of tree or yucca) out of freshly broken twigs and cushion them with dried grasses and other fine materials. White-tailed Hawks do not abandon their nests, which could reach sizes of up to three-feet across. Between one to three eggs are laid per year.The eggs are white, often spotted with brown.