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Galapagos Hawk
Buteo galapagoensis

Status: Vulnerable

Population Trend: Declining.

Other Names: 

Buteo galapagoensis
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Distribution: Neotropical.  GALAPAGOS ARCHIPELAGO.

Subspecies: Monotypic.

Taxonomy: Molecular studies by Fleischer and McIntosh (2001), Riesing et al. (2003), Bollmer et al. (2006), and Hull et al. (2008) suggested a close relationship between the Swainson's Hawk (B. swainsoni) and Galapagos Hawk (B. galapagoensis), Hawaiian Hawk (B. solitarius), and the continental Short-tailed Hawk (B. brachyurus) and White-throated Hawk (B. albigula). Previously, it had been suggested by Voous (1968) and Voous and de Vries (1978) that the White-tailed Hawk (B. albicaudatus) and B. galapagoensis were sister taxa, and Sibley and Monroe (1990) regarded them as a superspecies. Yet a third pairing had been suggested by Stresemann and Amadon (1979),who suspected that B. galapagoensis was closer to the Puna Hawk (B. poecilochrous) and Red-backed Hawk (B. polyosoma) and might even form a superspecies with them, but this is not supported by the molecular data. Bildstein (2004, 2006) has hypothesized that B. galapagoensis probably resulted from "migration dosing" from wayward individuals of the highly migratory Swainson's Hawk. Indeed, Bollmer et al. (2006) found only slight divergence between the two species, suggesting that the Galapagos Hawk may have diverged on the islands less than 300,000 years ago.

Movements: Non-migratory (Bildstein and Zalles 2005).

Habitat and Habits: Lowlands.

Food and Feeding Behavior: Seabirds and landbirds, rats, lizards (including iguanas), invertebrates, and carrion.

Breeding: Nest a large stick structure placed on the ground. Eggs 2-3, white with brown spots.

Conservation: This species still suffers persecution from Galapagos residents and may have been extirpated from five islands. It might be a suitable subject for captive breeding. Catergized as Vulnerable by BirdLife International (2007).

Important References: 

Bierregaard, R.O. 1994. Galapagos Hawk. P. 181 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.
BirdLife International. 2000. Threatened birds of the world. Lynx
  Edicions, Barcelona, Spain, and BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.
Bollmer, J.L., R.T. Kimball, N.K. Whiteman, J.H. Sarasola, P.G. Parker.
  2006. Phylogeography of the Galápagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis): a recent
  arrival to the Galápagos Islands. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Bollmer, J.L, T. Sanchez, M. Donaghy Cannon, D. Sanchez, B. Cannon, J.C.
  Bednarz, T. de Vries, M.S. Struve, and P.G. Parker.
2003. Variation in
  morphology and mating system among island populations of Galápagos Hawks.
  Condor 105:428-438.
Bollmer, J.L., N.R. Whiteman, M.D. Cannon, J.C. Bednarz, T. de Vries, and
  P.G. Parker.
2005. Population genetics of the Galapagos Hawk (Buteo
): genetic monomorphism within isolated populations. Auk
de Vries, T. 1975. The breeding biology of the Galapagos Hawk, Buteo
. Gerfaut 65:29-58.
DeLay, L.S., J. Faaborg, J. Naranjo, S.M. Paz, T. de Vries, and P.G.
. 1996. Paternal care in the cooperatively polyandrous Galapagos
  Hawks. Condor 98:300-311.
Faaborg, J. T. de Vries, C.B. Patterson, and C.R. Griffin. 1980.
  Preliminary observations on the occurrence and evolution of polyandry in the
  Galapagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis). Auk 97:581-590.
Ferguson-Lees, J., and D.A. Christie. 2001. Raptors of the world. Houghton
  Mifflin, Boston, MA.
Levenstein, K.M. 2008. Reproductive ecology of the cooperatively
  polyandrous Galápagos Hawk on Santiago Island, Galápagos. Ph.D.
  dissertation, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, AR.

Sites of Interest:
BirdLife International
Information on current status and recommended conservation actions.
Galapagos Hawk photos.

Vargas, Hernan

Last modified: 2/15/2010

Recommended Citation: Global Raptor Information Network. 2020. Species account: Galapagos Hawk Buteo galapagoensis. Downloaded from http://www.globalraptors.org on 25 Sep. 2020

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