Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Bicolored Hawk (Accipiter bicolor)


French: Épervier bicolore German: Zweifarbsperber Spanish: Gavilán bicolor
Other common names: Spotted Hawk (guttifer)

Sparvius bicolor


, 1817,



Closely related to A. cooperii and A. gundlachi. Race chilensis occasionally treated as full species (Chilean Hawk, as in HBW), but differences in ecology and plumage, though said to be strong, require detailed evaluation for constancy. Race guttifer has also been treated as full species, or as race of chilensis (when this given species status). Form schistochlamys (W Ecuador) incorporated in nominate race. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • A. b. fidens Bangs & Noble, 1918 – S Mexico (S Tamaulipas, Veracruz and N Oaxaca).
  • A. b. bicolor (Vieillot, 1817) – Bicolored Hawk – SE Mexico (Tabasco, Yucatán Peninsula) S to the Guianas, Amazonian Brazil and N Bolivia and, W of Andes, to NW Peru (Lambayeque).
  • A. b. pileatus (Temminck, 1823) – E Brazil (S Maranhão and Ceará S to Rio Grande do Sul), E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • A. b. guttifer Hellmayr, 1917 – SW Brazil (SW Mato Grosso) and SE Bolivia through Chaco of Paraguay to NC Argentina.
  • A. b. chilensis R. A. Philippi [Krumwiede] & Landbeck, 1864 – Chilean Hawk – Andes of C Chile (O’Higgins) and adjacent Argentina S to Tierra del Fuego and Staten I.
  • Descriptive notes

    31·5–45 cm; male 190–273 g, female 342–584 g, one unsexed (race guttifer) 149 g; wingspan 58–83 cm. Considerable variation in plumage... read more


    Most common vocalization during the breeding season is a series of 10–20 nasal “keh” notes.... read more


    Generally associated with wet tropical forest, but not highly specialized. Rainforest in the... read more

    Food and feeding

    A specialist on avian prey. Of 173 prey items recorded in Tikal National Park, Petén, Guatemala, 95·4% were birds, 3·2... read more


    Lays Apr–May (mid to late dry season) at Tikal, Guatemala, where nestbuilding starts early Feb and fledging occurs late Jun to Jul (... read more


    Conflicting reports, mostly from S America, that species is sedentary, nomadic or migratory, none,... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Widespread, but generally rare. Estimated average density of at least four individuals/10,000 ha at one French Guiana... read more

    Recommended citation

    Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Bicolored Hawk (Accipiter bicolor). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 February 2020).