Fun Savanna Hawk Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Oct 20, 2022 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Come 'fly' into the world of exciting facts on the savanna hawk!
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.2 Min

Long legs, short tail, and a beautiful rufous body, this is the perfect description of the Savanna Hawk, which is a sight to behold.

The range of the Savanna Hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) extends mainly in central and South America, extending from Trinidad to Argentina, Bolivia to Panama, Uruguay to Brazil!

These raptors are some of the best predators of the world, swooping down from tall palm trees, extending their legs and grabbing the prey in moments. Only one egg is produced in each breeding season. The nests of these birds are lined with grass, and built carefully with twigs.

Earlier, these birds were classified in the Heterospizias genus, but later it was classified separately in the Accipitridae family, genus Buteogallus.

For more relatable content, check out these swallow-tailed kite facts and brant facts for kids.

Savanna Hawk Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a savanna hawk?

The savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) is a type of hawk.

What class of animal does a savanna hawk belong to?

Savanna hawks fall in the category of birds.

How many savanna hawks are there in the world?

We do not have the actual count of individuals of this species!

Where does a savanna hawk live?

This bird is widespread and distributed across the lands of Southern and Central America. It is known to breed in Argentina, Colombia, Guyana, Bolivia, Panama, Uruguay, Brazil, and Trinidad.

What is a savanna hawk's habitat?

The preferred habitats of these birds are open lands, mainly around palm or woody savannah and swampy regions. You can also spot them in mangroves or forest edges.

Who do savanna hawks live with?

Usually, birds of this species are spotted alone, or in pairs. It is quite rare to spot them in large groups.

How long does a savanna hawk live?

Unfortunately, we are not aware of the exact lifespan of the savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis).  Generally, a hawk is said to live for about 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

In Trinidad, mating takes places in the earlier days of the year. In other places, the breeding season usually takes place in the wet season. However, this season varies according to the place where the hawk stays. The nest of a savanna hawk is usually built on tall palm trees, thorny trees, or between mangroves. The nest is built with twigs and sticks, and the insides are lined with soft material like grass and built on raised branches. Adult hawks return to the same nest every year.

The clutch size is usually just a single white egg, adorned with small brown speckles. Incubation duties are carried out for about 1.5 months. The young hawk takes about 2-3 months before fledging. In the initial days, they stay in the territory of their parents, learning to catch up with the world outside. Once they are completely independent, they set out for their own journey. This independence is attained at about 4-7 months of age.

The hawk eggs are eaten by snakes, large birds like eagles and falcons, and other tree animals like monkeys.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of Buteogallus meridionalis savanna hawk is 'Least Concern'.

Savanna Hawk Fun Facts

What do savanna hawks look like?

The physical description of the savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) begins with its beautiful rufous body. This body has black barring below and is adorned with grey mottling. The wings are broad and long when compared to the body size, and the flight feathers are of black color. The tail feathers are white and black-hued. The legs are long, strong, and of yellow color. The beak is yellow in color with a black curved tip. The hind neck is streaked as well. The throat and chin are of a pale cinnamon hue. Eyes are red-yellow. Talons on their legs are sharp and orange-yellow in color.

Juvenile hawks are much similar to the adult ones. However, they have duller upper parts which are slightly darker as well. The underparts are also paler.

Though both female and male hawks look similar, the females have slightly larger bodies.

The savanna hawk is located mainly in Central and Southern America.

How cute are they?

We would not identify Buteogallus meridionalis (Savanna hawk) as a cute species. But we do agree that these birds are bold and valiant.

How do they communicate?

The shrill noise of hawks can be heard from a distance. There are many different instances of why the hawks are seen screeching.

Usually, if you see a hawk making a shrill high pitch sound, it is made to ward off any outsiders. Also, adult males try to show off by being dominant in their territories by screeching loudly and claiming their ground. This may also be observed when the hawk is screaming in flight, another instance where the hawk is trying to announce its dominance over their areas. There also may be times when hawks screech while hunting. No, this isn’t to alert the prey, but instead to confuse them and swoop down from the other side.

It is really rare that you would hear this bird screeching in the dark hours, as they are diurnal species. But if you happen to hear, it is probably to announce to any other creature that they are well awake and aware and to warn them to stay away from the nests.

How big is a savanna hawk?

The savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis), which earlier belonged to the genus Heterospizias, has a body length in the range of 18.1-24.8 in (46-63 cm).

This body size is almost three times that of fox sparrows.

How fast can a savanna hawk fly?

Sorry, we are not aware of the speed of the former member of genus Heterospizias.

How much does a savanna hawk weigh?

The savanna hawk is said to be 29.8-37.75 oz  (0.845-1.07 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

A male hawk is known as tiercel. A female hawk is called a falcon or a hen.

What would you call a baby savanna hawk?

In general, a baby hawk goes by the name eyas. Apart from eyas, you can also call a baby hawk a 'chick', or 'hatchling'.

What do they eat?

This bird species is a prime carnivore. Common prey of the Savanna Hawk include lizards, fish, frogs, small mammals, snakes, crabs, caterpillars, grasshoppers, ants, spiders, and other large insects.

The savanna hawk is a smart and opportunistic feeder. They perch on high trees and look out for potential food. The moment it spots a good prey, it would swoop down at high speeds and attack the animals. This species is also known to hunt for food on foot. Many hawks may even follow the smoke and meet together near grass fires for a good meal. They may even prey animals escaping the grass fires and take advantage of the vulnerability. They also eat animals that are killed on the road.

Are they poisonous?

No, the Buteogallus meridionalis (Savanna hawk) is not poisonous at all.

Would they make a good pet?

We do not think this resident of Argentina would make a good pet! They enjoy the open space and require a lot of patience to be tamed.

Did you know...

It is not always that you would spot a single white egg in the savanna hawk nest; there are rare instances when two offsprings are produced!

What is special about savanna hawks?

Savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) is the most special member of its genus. Of the other birds in the genus, it is only the this bird species having a beautiful cinammon color on its plumage, with slight gray patterns. It looks absolutely beautiful watching them fly across the world. The other species have black plumage, which is in contrast to the Savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis).

Are savanna hawks endangered?

No, the savanna hawk (Buteogallus meridionalis) is not an endangered species. The only possible threat they face are from habitat loss, or from their eggs being eaten by other predators.

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 Hawaiian hawk facts and griffon vulture facts pages.

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

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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