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Mindo--Yellow House Trails
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Accipitriformes > Accipitridae

Variable Hawk

Geranoaetus polyosoma

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Identification

POWERED BY MERLIN

Common raptor in open spaces in the high Andes and southern South America. Large, relatively broad-winged, and short-tailed raptor. As the name suggests, plumage is quite variable. Adults range from clean white to dark gray and rufous below with a gray or rufous back. Always look for the white tail with a black band near the tip. Juveniles are more confusing, usually dark brown above and buffy below with a variable amount of dark streaking below. Juveniles can also be all dark brown (but this morph is rare). Compare with Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle, which is larger and broader-winged, with young birds usually darker than most Variable Hawks. Occurs from sea level up to over 4,500 m in the Andes, typically in open agricultural land, desert, or paramo, but also ranging over wooded areas.

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Neotropical Birds

Life histories of all species breeding in Mexico, Central America, and South America