The Black Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus), also known as the Tyrant Hawk-Eagle, is a species of Eagle primarily distributed in parts of South America; central Mexico to eastern Peru, the south of Brazil, and far northern Argentina. Its preferred habitats include humid and moist forests, close to rivers and in several types of woodland. It is uncommon to fairly common throughout most of its range.
This bird, as the name suggests, has a dark black feathering with varying patterns on each of its wings and body, and a speckled white colouring in places. It has barred wings, slightly elliptical in shape, and tail which is long and narrow and is rarely fanned. The four, grey hued "bars" seen on the tail quills are distinctive to the Black Hawk-Eagle, as is the white line seen slightly above the bird's eye. While flying, the broadness and shortness of the wings become apparent. While in flight, the bird's tail is typically kept closed.
Light and relatively small when compared to other members of its genus, the main foods consumed by this bird include opossums and monkeys, as well as, occasionally, small bats and other birds. Its popular name in Brazil is "Gavião-pega-macaco", wich means "monkey-catching hawk". These other birds can often be quite large, such as toucans, and chachalacas. The dietary habits of the Black Hawk-Eagle, however, remain mostly unknown, with very few recordings of the bird eating.
Similar to knowledge of its diet, very little is known about the Black Hawk-Eagle's breeding behaviour other than some details relating to its nest: comprised of sticks and possibly other materials, the nest is around one metre and a half in total diameter and is usually constructed in tall trees, often around fifteen metres high. The variety of tree chosen probably varies greatly, but they have been observed chiefly in pine trees.
Black Hawk-Eagles often eat animals as large as toucans (here a Keel-billed Toucan), among others.
- ^ Tyrant Hawk-eagle Retrieved on 14 August, 2007
- ^ a b c d "Black Hawk-Eagle "? Spizaetus tyrannus". Retrieved on 14 August, 2007.
- ^ a b c "Black Hawk-Eagle". Retrieved on 14 August, 2007.
- ^ Birds of Venezuela by Steve Hilty. Princeton University Press, 2003