Ridgway's Hawks

Birds of Prey ... The Sport of Falconry
Ridgway's Hawk

The Ridgway's Hawk, Buteo ridgwayi, is a bird of prey in the family Accipitridae, which also includes the eagles, hawks and Old World vultures. Despite the name, this bird is a Buteo buzzard and not a true Accipiter hawk.


Distribution:

The Ridgway's Hawk original breeding range included Haiti and the Dominican Republic (which make up the island of Hispaniola) and some of the adjacent isles and keys.

As of 2006, it's only known population resides within Los Haitises National Park, in Northeastern Dominican Republic, which is mostly covered by wet limestone forest.


Description:

This is a medium-sized, compact hawk, 36-41 cm long.

The adult has brown-grey upperparts, greyish barred underparts with reddish-brown wash, rufous thighs and a black-and-white barred tail.

The male is greyer than the female. Immature birds have buffy white underparts with grey and brown streaks.


Diet:

This bird feeds on small mammals, birds, lizards and snakes.


Breeding / Nesting:

It nests in the crowns of tall trees, with nest-building in February and March and eggs laid in March and April.


Status:

This bird is critically endangered due to clearance of its forest habitat. It has an estimated population of less than 200, making it, along with the Bay-breasted Cuckoo ( Coccyzus rufigularis ), the most threatened bird of Hispaniola.

This bird is named after the ornithologist Robert Ridgway.


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