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Gray-bellied Hawk
Accipiter poliogaster

Status: Near Threatened

Population Trend: Increasing.

Other Names: Gray-bellied Goshawk.

Accipiter poliogaster
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Distribution: Neotropical.  Resident east of the Andes locally from northern COLOMBIA and northeastern ECUADOR, southern VENEZUELA and the GUIANAS south through BRAZIL (except the northeastern portion) to northern BOLIVIA, eastern PERU, southeastern PARAGUAY, and northeastern ARGENTINA (Misiones); accidental in COSTA RICA. more....

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: The form Accipiter pectoralis proved to be based on the distinctive immature plumage of this species (Partridge 1961). This species was called "Grey-bellied Goshawk" by Thiollay (1997) and Ferguson-Lees and Christie (2001), but Remsen et al. (2008) pointed out that this name has no phylogenetic significance within the genus and retained the traditional name, Gray-bellied Hawk.

Movements: Partial migrant (Bildstein 2006). There is little specific information on this species, but Hilty and Brown (1986) suggested that Colombian records may all be of migrants from more southern regions. Wattel (1973) also suspected the species is migratory, at least in the southern part of its range.

Habitat and Habits: Occurs in lowland humid forest, riparian forest borders, and isolated patches of dense woodland (Hilty and Brown 1986). Thiollay (2007) found this species in French Guiana in the lower canopy of primary and recently logged forests. May perch in the open, but does not soar (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001). more....

Food and Feeding Behavior: Feeds on small birds. Hunts from the upper canopy, flying from perch to perch in succession, pausing to watch for prey, then diving into the middle of a mixed-species flock (Hilty 2003).

Breeding: Ecuadorian nests purportedly of Micrastur mirandollei (Melo and de Vries 2001) may refer instead to this species (or to some other Accipiter species) (Thorstrom 2002).

Conservation: One of the most poorly known diurnal raptor species in South America, but doubtless often overlooked. Generally regarded as rare and unexpected throughout its relatively extensive range. Treated as “Near-threatened” by Collar (1992, 1994), but categorized as a species of "Least Concern" by BirdLife International until 2012, when its status was changed to Near Threatened. So little is actually known about this species, however, that its actual status is largely only a guess at this point. more....

Important References: 
Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Gray-bellied Goshawk. P. 145 in del Hoyo, J., A.
  Elliott, and J. Saragatal (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.
Haverschmidt, F.1972. [Accipiter poliogaster in Surinam.] Journal für
  Ornithologie 113:338-339. (In German)
Laubmann, A. 1939.[Accipiter pectoralis (Bonaparte) und seine Verbreitung
  in Südamerika.] Physis Buenos Aires 16:109-144. (In German)
Partridge, W.H. 1961. Accipiter pectoralis, a synonym of Accipiter
. Condor 63:505-506.
Sclater, P.L. 1861. On a rare species of hawk, of the genus Accipiter,
  from South America. Ibis 3:313.
Thorstrom, R. 2002. Comments on the first nesting record of the nest of a
  Slaty-backed Forest-falcon (Micrastur mirandollei) in the
  Ecuadorian Amazon. Journal of Raptor Research 36:335-336.

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

Albuquerque, Jorge
Beingolea, Oscar
Canuto, Marcus
Carvalho Filho, Eduardo Pio Mendes
Lisboa, Jorge
Ospina, Alex
Quirós Bazán, Norman
Santos, Kassius Klay
Whittaker, Andrew
Zorzin, Giancarlo

Last modified: 11/14/2016

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2022. Species account: Gray-bellied Hawk Accipiter poliogaster. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 27 Jan. 2022

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