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Return of Bird of the Week: Barred Hawk

WC has photos of other Caracara species, but they are too shabby to share. But there are many, many kinds of raptors beyond Caracaras. So, with some trepidation, WC will move to Hawks. Trepidation, because WC has friends who are quite gifted bird photographers who specialize, to some extent, on Hawks, and WC’s efforts suffer in comparison.

We’ll start with the Barred Hawk.

Barred Hawk, Mindo region, Ecuador

Barred Hawk, Mindo region, Ecuador

This is an Accipiter, the same family of hawks as North America’s Northern Goshawk. Like the Northern Goshawk, this is a forest predator, chiefly in the middle elevations between 2,000 and 5,000 feet. It has a wide but patchy distribution rom Costa Rica to Peru. It’s a large bird, somewhat bigger than the Northern Goshawk. Despite its range, size and noisy calls, WC has only seen the species twice.

Juvenile Barred Hawk food-begging, Peru

Juvenile Barred Hawk food-begging, Peru

This juvenile was loudly telling the world it was hungry, in unfortunate light.

There’s only been limited research on this species, but what has been done suggests the primary prey is caecillans, a group of limbless, serpentine amphibians. Those things WC thought were “giant earthworms.” Prey remains analysis at a series of nests in Ecuador suggests caecillans make up more than half of the food fed to nestlings.

It’s a very handsome bird. WC hopes to get better photos at some point. So many birds; so little time.

For more bird photographs, please visit Frozen Feather Images.




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