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Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Fritz73
Alumine, Neuquen, Argentina, Jannuary 2004
Geranoaetus melanoleucus


Photo © by Luis R
Chacabuco. Metropolitan Region Santiago, Chile, July 2018

60-76 cm (23½-30 in) Female larger

  • White underparts with fine blackish stripes
  • Dark grey upperparts with a blackish, brownish or bluish hue
  • Dark breast
  • Ash-grey and white area on wings
  • Very short black tail

Female: rufous tint to both the upper and underwing secondaries
Immature: tail is not nearly as short as in adults; deep brown upperparts, lacks light wing patch; white or light buff underparts, heavy dark streaks on breast, dark bars on belly and thighs. Full adult plumage is acquired at 4-5 years old.


South America: found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil.


Female (on left) and male
Photo © by Rodrigo Reyes
La Campana National Park, Chile, May 2007


There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • G. m. australis: smaller, white with fine dark barring below
  • Andes of western Venezuela to Tierra del Fuego
  • G. m. melanoleucus:


A variety of habitats, in open and mountainous areas.


Photo © by Stanley Jones
North of Tafí del Valle, Tucumán Province, Argentina, October 2019


The diet includes mid-sized mammals and birds.


The large stick nest is constructed in high trees or on rocky cliffs. The clutch of 1-3 eggs is incubated for 28 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. AvianWeb
  4. BirdForum Member observations

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