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GRAY HAWK or GREY-LINED HAWK } Asturina nitida orButeo nitidus

RANGE: Central and South America, small portions of Southwestern United States

STATUS: The global population of gray hawks is Stable; Threatened in Texas and a Sensitive Species in Arizona

THREATS: Loss of cottonwood-willow forest and mesquite bosque habitat, human disturbance

Gray hawks range from the Amazon Basin in South America into the southwestern United States: there are about 80 known nest sites in Arizona and half a dozen along the Rio Grande River in south Texas. Their shrill kleee-ooo calls can be heard in woodlands and dry deciduous forests, the birds’ favorite habitat. Gray hawks are swift and agile, able to actively pursue their prey while maneuvering through trees. They tend to swoop down from high perches to capture lizards, snakes, small mammals, frogs, and smaller birds, though they will sometimes hunt while gliding close to the ground.

Photo © Lou Hegedus