Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)

Least Concern

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)


French: Petite Buse German: Breitflügelbussard Spanish: Busardo aliancho

Sparvius platypterus


, 1823,

near Schuylkill River, Pennsylvania, USA


Six subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. p. platypterus (Vieillot, 1823) – SC & SE Canada and E USA; winters in S Florida and from S Mexico through Central and South America to E Peru, N Bolivia and W Brazil.
  • B. p. cubanensis Burns, 1911 – Cuba.
  • B. p. brunnescens Danforth & Smyth, 1935 – Puerto Rico.
  • B. p. insulicola Riley, 1908 – Antigua (N Lesser Antilles).
  • B. p. rivierei A. H. Verrill, 1905 – Dominica, Martinique and St Lucia (C Lesser Antilles).
  • B. p. antillarum A. H. Clark, 1905 – S Lesser Antilles (St Vincent, Grenadines, Grenada) and Tobago.
  • Descriptive notes

    32–42 cm; male 310–400 g, female 389–460 g; wingspan 74–96 cm. Small, stoutish woodland Buteo; adult has brown upperparts and reddish barred... read more


    Primary vocalization is a high-pitched, monotonous whistle of c. 2–4 seconds initiated with a... read more


    Nests in contiguous deciduous and mixed coniferous-deciduous woodlands, often with open areas and... read more

    Food and feeding

    From spring to autumn, regularly takes more than 30 species of small mammals, from size of mouse to small rabbit; birds of at least 25... read more


    Season Mar–Jul. Solitary. Carelessly built stick nest, usually in first main crotch of deciduous tree, or in conifer (sometimes in... read more


    Highly migratory in North America, where entire population departs for winter, except birds in S... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). CITES II. Common, with one estimate of more than 1,000,000 individuals in North America. However, in migration counts in Veracruz (E... read more

    Recommended citation

    White, C.M., Boesman, P. & Marks, J.S. (2020). Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus). 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).