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Common Black Hawk
Includes: Mangrove Black Hawk
Length 50-58cm (20-23"), wingspan 122-127cm (48-50")
 Similar species
Found in coastal regions of northern and north-western South America, incl. Trinidad & Tobago, north through Central America and Mexico, to southernmost USA (Arizona and Texas). Generally resident, but some local movements, and only a summer visitor to south-eastern Arizona. Also seen along border section of Rio Grande River, notably in Big Bend NP, in winter. Very rare visitor to lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
 Conservation Status
Overall common and widespread. In its limited US range it is rare and local, with an estimated 250 breeding pairs remaining.
Recent evidence strongly suggests that the population on Cuba should be considered a separate species, the Cuban Black Hawk (Buteogallus gundlachii). On the contrary, recent evidence strongly suggests that the Mangrove Black Hawk should be considered a subspecies, B. anthracinus subtilis, this lump is now accepted by Clements and the IOC and therefore also in the Opus.
There are 5 subspecies:
Wide range of wooded habitats, especially in coastal areas. In the northernmost parts of its range, nests most commonly in cottonwood trees in riparian areas.
Gentle and lethargic except while nesting, when it often drops out of the skies from great height.
It builds a large stick nest in a tree, and usually lays one dark-blotched whitish egg. Will abandon nest if disturbed too much.
Diet includes crabs, and small vertebrates and eggs.
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