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Savanna Hawk - Buteogallus meridionalis
Savanna Hawk - Buteogallus meridionalis

[Image: Savanna_hawk_%28Buteogallus_meridionalis%29.JPG]

Scientific classification 
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteogallus
Species: B. meridionalis

Description: The savanna hawk is 46–61 cm (18–24 in) in length and weighs 845 g (29.8 oz). The adult has a rufous body with grey mottling above and fine black barring below. The flight feathers of the long broad wings are black, and the tail is banded black and white. The legs are yellow. The call is a loud scream keeeeru.
Immature birds are similar to the adults but have darker, duller upperparts, paler underparts with coarser barring, and a whitish supercilium. This species perches very vertically, and its legs are strikingly long.

[Image: Buteogallus_meridionalis_-Goias%2C_Brazil_-flying-8.jpg]

Distribution: It breeds from Panama and Trinidad south to Bolivia, Uruguay and central Argentina.

Diet: The savanna hawk feeds on small mammals, lizards, snakes, crabs and large insects. It usually sits on an open high perch from which it swoops on its prey, but will also hunt on foot, and several birds may gather at grass fires.

[Image: Heterosp+meridion.jpg]

Reproduction: The nest is of sticks lined with grass and built in a palm tree. The clutch is a single white egg, and the young take 6.5 to 7.5 weeks to fledging.
[-] The following 2 users Like Shenzi's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu, Taipan
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[-] The following 1 user Likes Shenzi's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu

Small vertebrates are regular items in the diet of a wide range of birds, particularly among Accipitridae. Diurnal reptiles, especially the orders Serpentes and Sauria, while moving or in other specific situations, such as thermoregulation, are conspicuously exposed to predation by birds that share the daytime habit. In the present study, we report two predatory events involving a family group of Savanna-hawks, Heterospizias meridionalis, consisting of an adult pair and their nestling, on snakes’ species Xenodon dorbignyi and Philodryas patagoniensis, in municipality of Rosário do Sul (-30.264533 -54.947345), west region of Rio Grande do Sul, southern Brazil. In the first event (09.04.2016), an adult hawk caught a snake of the species X. dorbignyi, in an area near a small wetland, about 100 meters from the nesting site. Before returning to the nest, with a help of the beak, the hawk removed the serpent's head, taking the rest of the carcass to the nesting. However, due to difficult visualization, we did not notice the presence of nestling, only another adult individual. In a new event (01.26.2017), in the same place, one of the adult birds captured a snake of the species P. patagoniensis. Once again, the carcass had its head removed by the hawk, which delivered it to a young individual under supervision of another adult specimen. Events like these help to better understand the ecological and behavioral aspects of species, since they elucidate the diet, reproductive biology and parental care of these raptors.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Shenzi's post:
  • Claudiu Constantin Nicolaescu

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