Zone-tailed Hawk: Large hawk, mostly black except for barred flight feathers, black-and-white banded tail. Eye-rings are gray. Bill, legs are yellow. Circles like a turkey vulture. Eats small rodents, birds. Soars and glides on thermals with wings lifted slightly above back, tilts from side to side.
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.
The Zone-tailed Hawk has an expansive range reaching up to roughly 6.8 million square kilometers. This bird can be found throughout Central and South America as well as the United States and Mexico. It prefers subtropical and tropical grasslands and forests, but will also be found in pasturelands as well. The global population of this bird is estimated to be around 500,000 to 5 million individual birds. Currently, it is not believed that the population trends for this species will soon approach the minimum levels that could suggest a potential decline in population. Due to this, population trends for the Zone-tailed Hawk have a present evaluation level of Least Concern.
The Zone-tailed Hawk is believed to mimic the V-shaped wing pattern of Turkey Vultures, taking advantage of prey that is desensitized to the presence of vultures.
They can spot and capture prey from up to 105 meters above the ground.
They engage in spectacular courtship displays, performing aerial loops, dives, and rolls. at heights of up to 500 meters.
A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.