Broad-winged Hawk

photo by Phil Swanson

Buteo platypterus
L 16″(41 cm) W 34″ (86 cm).

Song or calls:
High-pitched “peeeurr, kee-eee,” or peeoweee whistle. First note higher and shorter than second.

Description: Sexes similar. Dark brown above, chestnut barring below. White throat. White underwings with dark borders. Tail with  broad white and black bands. Last white band broader than others. Buffy to white wing linings. Juvenile white below with brown streaking. Tail bands are indistinct.

broad winged hawk
Habitat: Found during breeding season in mature deciduous forests. Prefers sites near water. Migrating birds can be seen flying in flocks over open country.

Where in Nebraska: Uncommon spring and fall migrant in eastern Nebraska. Occasional summer resident in forests along Missouri River. Rare in western part of state.

Field Notes: One of few North American raptors that flock during migration. Tens of thousands can be seen at peak of migration.

Fun Facts: The Broad-winged hawk travels from its wintering grounds in South America to their breeding grounds in northern Canada, traveling over 7,000 miles twice a year.

Broad-winged Hawk - photo by Phil Swanson Broad-winged Hawk - photo by Phil Swanson
(click image for larger view)