Family Hawks, Eagles (Accipitridae)


Rufous-tailed Hawk (Buteo ventralis)


French: Buse de Patagonie German: Magellanbussard Spanish: Busardo patagón

Buteo ventralis


, 1837,

no locality = Santa Cruz, Patagonia


Closely related to, and sometimes considered conspecific with, B. jamaicensis; long considered a colour morph of Geranoaetus polyosoma. B. pictus is a junior synonym. Monotypic.


SC Chile (Ñuble) and SC Argentina (Neuquén) S through Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego and Navarino I.

Descriptive notes

45–60 cm; male 950 g, female 1140 g; wingspan 119–139 cm. Medium-sized with long square-tipped wings and kinked trailing edges, and medium-length tail.... read more


Only description is of a harsh, drawn-out "kee-ahrr".


Inhabits the ecotone between southern beech (Nothofagus) forest and steppe grassland, from... read more

Food and feeding

Poorly known, although recent breeding-season study has provided some clarity: mammals (including rats, other rodents, rabbits and hares)... read more


Laying probably mainly in Oct–Nov, and season probably lasts until at least Jan. In study in S Chile during four breeding seasons... read more


Appears to be resident, although some altitudinal or latitudinal movement is expected to occur in... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. CITES II. Not well known. Rare, and believed to have small global population. Inhabits lower Andes of Patagonia in S Chile and Argentina, where occurs at... read more

Recommended citation

Bierregaard, R.O., Jr, Kirwan, G.M., Christie, D.A. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Rufous-tailed Hawk (Buteo ventralis). 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 24 February 2020).