Fun Black Hawk-eagle Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Black Hawk-eagle Facts For Kids

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Are you intrigued to learn more fun facts about this powerful raptor bird? Then keep reading to find out about the black hawk-eagle.

The black hawk-eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) is a medium-sized raptor species found mainly in central and south America, but don't confuse it with the common black hawk, which is a different species altogether. They live in the gallery, humid and moist forests of regions extending from Mexico to Peru and southern Brazil, and northern Argentina. The black hawk-eagle is also known as the tyrant hawk-eagle. They have an overall black plumage with different unique patterns on their wings, and white speckling. This eagle is small compared to the other birds of its genus, but it is very similar in behavior and appearance to the Ornate hawk-eagle. Black hawk-eagle has an overall black plumage with yellow feet and cere and white markings across its wings and body. The barred black and white wings which are slightly elliptical in shape look beautiful when the birds are in flight. This bird has a distinct white line above its eye and white/gray bars on the tail. Their tail is narrow and rarely fanned and they have a short, bushy, black crest. The bird's diet mainly consists of bats, marmosets, opossums and monkeys and also snakes, and giant lizards. Their breeding activities are carried out in nests on high branches of big trees. They are great fliers and hover high in the sky or move from tree to tree looking for prey. They swoop on their prey from a great distance or sometimes take them up by a surprise attack. These eagles are not facing any threats or concerns and have a stable global population.

If you loved reading about the black hawk-eagle, be sure to check out these swallow-tailed kite facts and chimney swift facts.

Fun Black Hawk-eagle Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Marmosets, opossums, monkeys

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

1.9-2.5 lb (861.8-1133.9 g)

How long are they?

24-29 in (61-73.6 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black with white speckling and patterns on its wings

Skin Type


What were their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Forests, Foothills, Lowlands


Southern And Central America









Black Hawk-Eagle Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black hawk-eagle?

The black hawk-eagle is a hawk bird of the Accipitridae family and the genus Spizaetus.

What class of animal does a black hawk-eagle belong to?

Black hawk-eagle belongs to the class Aves of the Animalia kingdom.

How many black hawk-eagles are there in the world?

According to the study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN, their current global population is somewhere between 50000-499999, with a huge population of this species seen in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, and Argentina.

Where does a black hawk-eagle live?

The black hawk-eagle is a neotropical species like the Ornate hawk-eagle, which can be found in large parts of central and south America. Extending from regions in Mexico to Peru and southern Brazil, the eagles have also been spotted in northern Argentina in recent times.

What is a black hawk-eagle's habitat?

The birds are found in lowlands, foothills, and different forest habitats. Their preferred habitat regions include moist, humid, gallery, and disturbed forest ranges along forest edges. The hawk is seen in areas of late second-growth and semi-open regions.

Who do black hawk-eagle live with?

The bird does not live or fly in groups. They are sedentary and otherwise solitary birds that stay with their mate during the breeding season in nests built in tall trees.

How long does a black hawk-eagle live?

There is not enough information on the average life span of these birds. However, most eagles live for long years (10-15 years on average) and so it can be assumed that these birds also live for many years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

Not much information is available on the breeding habits of this bird species. However, it is known that  black hawk eagles lay their egg in a nest. The platform-shaped big nest, made with twigs and sticks, is built on strong branches of high trees in humid and moist forests. It is observed that females lay a single egg in the nest, and the eggs are white with dark or light brown spots and markings. Males are responsible for bringing food to the nest while the females take part in incubation and nurture the young ones. It is still unknown when the chick fledges from the nest and start living on their own.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has enlisted these birds under the Least Concern status.

Black Hawk-Eagle Fun Facts

What do black hawk-eagle look like?

Endemic to central Mexico, eastern Peru, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina, the body of the black hawk-eagle is adorned with beautiful black feathers with white patterns on its wings and tail. However, they are a colorful species with yellow cere and bright yellow eyes. They have yellow feet and their legs are covered in black and white feathers. Also known as the tyrant hawk-eagle, these birds look the most beautiful while in flight. Their wings are barred in black and white and slightly elliptical in shape. When their wings are spread out wide, the beautiful barred black and white pattern throughout the under-wings is visible. They also have a narrow and rarely fanned gray tail and a striking black crest with white speckling across the body. The thin white line above the eye and white bars across the tail sets this bird apart from other species.

The black hawk-eagle has distinct charcoal black feathers with unique white bar-like patterns on its wings and tail.

How cute are they?

The black hawk eagles are animals of the wild. One of the most deadly predators species among birds, these birds of south and central America might not be considered cute by most people.

How do they communicate?

The black hawk-eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) communicates the same way as most eagles do. Not much information is available on how these eagles communicate, but, it can be assumed that they use their powerful sight and hearing to study their surroundings like other eagles. They have a loud shrill call through which they communicate with other birds and make their presence felt.

How big is a black hawk-eagle?

Black hawk eagles range 24-29 in (61-73.6 cm) in length. Black hawk eagles are the size of the black and white hawk-eagle (found in a large part of tropical America from southern Mexico to northern Argentina) and almost two times smaller than the Stellar's Sea eagle, which is one of the largest eagles in the world and they range in size between 33.46-41.33 in (85-105 cm).

How fast can a black hawk-eagle move?

Black hawk eagles are huge raptor birds. This hawk-eagle soars high up in the sky around noon and hover above their territories. They use their sharp eyesight to spot animals or prey. Once they have spotted a prey, they swiftly and silently swoop down from high altitudes and pick their prey from the ground or tops of trees. These animals are adept fliers and often pick up their prey by surprise attack.

How much does a black hawk-eagle weigh?

The black hawk-eagle, Spizaetus tyrannus, which are mostly black with barred black and white flight feathers, weigh between 1.9-2.5 lb (861.8-1133.9 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Males of the species are called cocks and the females of the species are called hens.

What would you call a baby black hawk-eagle?

A baby black hawk-eagle is called a chick.

What do they eat?

The black hawk-eagle, spizaetus tyrannus, are carnivores and a great raptor species. Their diet primarily consists of squirrels, squirrel monkeys, marmosets, bats, opossums, and monkeys. They also hunt larger birds like guans, toucans, and macaws. The diet of this species also includes large lizards and snakes.

Are they poisonous?

Black hawk eagles with barred black and white wings are non-poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

This raptor species are not appropriate pets.

Did you know...

The short bushy crest with white speckling of the black hawk-eagle (Spizaetus tyrannus) is only seen when the bird is perched and not in flight.

In Brazil, the black hawk-eagle is known as Gaviao Pega macaco. The name Gaviao Pega macaco, which means monkey catching hawk, was given to them because only in this region they have been seen to hunt monkeys.

Why is a black hawk-eagle also called tyrant hawk-eagle?

It is not known why they are called the tyrant hawk-eagle.

What is unique about the black hawk-eagle?

The white line above the bird's eye, gray bars on the narrow and rarely-fanned tail are unique to the black hawk-eagle.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these limpkin facts and snipe facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black hawk eagle coloring pages.

*Please note, the main image is of a black-chested buzzard eagle. If you have an image of a black hawk eagle, let us know at [email protected]

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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