Common Black-Hawk: Large hawk, nearly all black with white patch just behind bill. Bill, legs and feet are bright orange-yellow. The tail is black with single, thick white band across the middle and a thin, white tip. Alternates deep steady wing beats with short to long glides. Soars on thermals.
Range and Habitat
Common Black-Hawk: Found in southwestern U.S., throughout Mexico, Central America, and northern South America to Guyana. Inhabit coastal lowlands of mixed savannah, dunes, ponds, lagoons and grasslands.
The Common Black-Hawk is a bird of prey, and is related to eagles, hawks and vultures. Breeding grounds of the species are located throughout the Americas, including the southwestern United States, Central America, Venezuela, Peru, Trinidad and the Lesser Antilles. The Common Black-Hawk is a coastal bird and typically a resident all year long, though some migratory populations exist. These populations fly south to northwestern Mexico and Arizona in the winter months. They prefer to breed and nest in mangrove swamps with adjacent dry, open woodlands. Their diet consists of crab, eggs and small vertebrates. The current conservation rating of the Common Black-Hawk is Least Concern.
The Common Black-Hawk is often seen soaring, with occasional lazy flaps, and has a talon-touching aerial courtship display.
They often perch for long periods on a branch over water, waiting for their prey to appear.
This species is vulnerable to disturbance near its nesting sites and seems to be declining in the United States.
A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.