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Bicolored Hawk
Accipiter bicolor

Status: Lower risk

Population Trend: Unknown.

Other Names: Bicolored Sparrowhawk, Bicoloured Hawk, Four-banded Bird-Hawk, Four-banded Hawk, Mexican Bicolored Hawk (fidens).

Accipiter bicolor
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Distribution: Neotropical. Southern MEXICO through the lowlands of Central America and COLOMBIA west of the Andes south to northwestern PERU and east of the Andes through VENEZUELA and the GUIANAS, south through the Amazon basin to northern ARGENTINA, PARAGUAY, and URUGUAY. more....

Subspecies: 4 races. A. b. bicolor: Southeastern MEXICO (Yucatán Peninsula) and BELIZE south through the lowlands of Central America and west of the Andes to northwestern PERU and east of the Andes in Amazonia and the GUIANAS, south to eastern BOLIVIA, eastern PERU, and BRAZIL; A. b. fidens : Eastern MEXICO (Tamaulipas, eastern Oaxaca and Veracruz); A. b. pileatus: BRAZIL south of Amazonia (eastern Mato Grosso to southern Maranhno and Ceará), URUGUAY, and northeastern ARGENTINA (Misiones); A. b. guttifer : BRAZIL (western Mato Grosso) and BOLIVIA through the Chaco of PARAGUAY and northwestern ARGENTINA (Misiones). more....

Taxonomy: Relationships of this species need further study. Accipiter bicolor forms a superspecies with A. cooperii and A. gundlachi (Amadon 1964, Stresemann and Amadon 1979, Sibley and Monroe 1990). The form chilensis was considered to be a race of A. bicolor until fairly recently (Conover 1946, Amadon 1964, Wattel 1973), but it is now treated as a full species by most current authorities, based on its disjunct distribution and differences in habitat preferences and plumages from A. bicolor (Thiollay 1994). Some authors, e.g., Amadon and Bull (1988) have also suggested that the race pileatus might be a distinct species, while others have suggested that the race guttifer is specifically distinct from A. bicolor, or conspecific with chilensis (Blake 1977). A molecular investigation of the relationships of the populations in austral South America would be timely. more....

Movements: Partial migrant and also an altitudinal migrant in some areas (Bildstein 2006).

Habitat and Habits: Inhabits forest edges, stands of trees in savannas, open deciduous woodland, dense gallery forest, late second-growth, patches of native cultivation, plantations, woodland villages, and tropical rainforest (Wattel 1973). Occurs from the lower understory to the canopy of mature forests (both dry and humid) in lowlands and middle elevations. Occasionally soars, but usually for brief periods. Usually seen singly and low in the forest, where it sits quietly for long periods (Slud 1964). Unobtrusive and difficult to detect, but not necessarily shy. more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds mostly on thrush- to pigeon-sized birds and to a much lesser extent on small mammals and lizards. May follow troops of monkeys to catch flushed insects. Hunts from a concealed perch, dashing out at prey, or may fly from perch to perch in the canopy, then pursue flushed prey, or fly into a tree full of perched birds and dash after a victim (Stiles and Skutch 1989). more....

Breeding: The nest is a small, cup-shaped platform of sticks lined with leaves or moss, placed high on single or forked branchs of a tree, in hanging vines, or in a mass of epiphytes (Hewitt 1937, Thorstrom and Quixchán 2000). Clutch size is 1-3 eggs, which are white or bluish-white and unmarked (Thorstrom and Kiff 1999). Females perform most of the incubation and protect the nest, and the males provide food to the female and nestlings. The incubation period averaged 34 days at five nests in Guatemala. Males fledged earlier (30-32 days; n = 3) than females (34-36 days; n = 2) (Thorstrom and Quixchán op cit.). more....

Conservation: Generally regarded as rare or uncommon throughout its extensive range, but probably often overlooked. Categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International (2008), which includes A. chilensis as a subspecies. more....

Important References: 
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Bicoloured Hawk. P. 161 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Sargatal (eds). Handbook of birds of the world. Vol. 2. New
  World vultures to guineafowl. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain..
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Lerner, H.R., and D.P. Mindell. 2005. Phylogeny of eagles, Old World
  vultures, and other Accipitridae based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.
  Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 37:327-346.
Manzanero Quixchán, E. Martínez Ramírez, and R. Thorstrom. 1992.
  Reproductive biology, food habits, and home range of the Bicolored Hawk. Pp.
  163-168 in D.F. Whitacre, and R.K. Thorstrom (eds.), Maya
  Project Progress Report V, 1992. The Peregrine Fund, Inc., Boise, ID.
Thorstrom, R.K., and L.F. Kiff. 1999. Notes on eggs of the Bicolored
  Hawk. Journal of Raptor Research 33:244-247.
Thorstrom, R., and A. Quixchán. 2000. Breeding biology and nest site
  characteristics of the Bicolored Hawk in Guatemala. Wilson Bulletin
Thorstrom, R.K. 2012. Bicolored Hawk. Pp. 93-103 in D.F. Whitacre (ed.),
  Neotropical birds of prey: biology and ecology of a forest raptor community.
  Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

Sites of Interest:
Bicolored Hawk photos,
Aves de Rapina do Brasil
Species account with emphasis on Brazil.

Albuquerque, Jorge
Azevedo, Marcos Antônio Guimarães
Beingolea, Oscar
Lisboa, Jorge
Ospina, Alex
Perez, Julio
Riba-Hernández, Laura
Thorstrom, Russell
Whittaker, Andrew

Last modified: 7/27/2012

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Bicolored Hawk Accipiter bicolor. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 27 Jan. 2022

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