Black-And-White Hawk-Eagle: The Ultimate Guide

The Black-And-White Hawk-Eagle is a bird that is found in both the eagle and the hawk families. They are found throughout the tropical part of North America, from the south of Mexico to the border of Argentina.

This species is known for its white head and neck, which contrasts quite sharply with its dark brown body.

This bird is a born predator, coming with a dark wing with white trimming, it will be able to blend in with any surroundings. The iris of this bird is orange with yellow tints, it can spot creatures from hundreds of yards away.

This creature has a yellow bill with black talons, the shadow-like quality they use to blend in with the background to hunt with complete stealth.

This creature has developed razor-sharp talons that it can use to hunt, capture and completely eviscerate its prey.

When these birds are juveniles, they will have pale feathers on the upper wing with brownish-grey feathers on the back of its body.

There is little difference between the female and the male, although, like most birds of this breed, the female will be slightly larger than the male.

So where exactly can you find this black-and-white hawk-eagle? What does it look like out in the wild? What is the difference between the male and the female? What is the breeding and behavior of this animal? What do their calls sound like? Where do these animals live?

Well, if you want answers to these questions and a whole lot more, we would recommend that you keep reading.

By the time that you’ve finished with this article, you will have everything that you need to know regarding the movements, mating patterns and eating habits of this magnificent beast.


This bird is largely dark in coloration, with a white head and neck that is very stark in contrast. It has white crest forms on its head that mark it out from similar birds such as the black-faced hawk and the ornate hawk-eagle.

This bird has a black beak with orange trim, so it can be spotted from the ground quite easily. As a juvenile, this bird has grey-colored wings, which soon grow darker as it gets older. Some juveniles have a more pronounced brownish-grey coloring on the back.

Male Vs Female

The sexes of this species of bird are very alike in color, although you can be sure that the female will be slightly larger than the male.

Are They Aggressive?

This bird is not that aggressive with humans, although there have been cases where human beings have encroached on the bird’s territory. However, when this happens, the bird will be more inclined to flee rather than attack its human trespassers.

There is often a myth spread about this bird that it has been known to attack chickens and other fowl in farms.

However, this is largely untrue and is only perpetuated to encourage the hunting of this species, either as a sport or to be used as collector’s items.

What Adaptations Do They Have?

This bird has a hooked beak, which is used by many birds of prey to separate the flesh of the animal from the bones. Once the hawk has caught the prey, it often shreds through the carcass to kill the animal and then eats the meat.

This bird has also developed a retractable talon on the back of its foot. This is to hook the prey tighter, especially when it is traveling through the air. This claw is also used to rip out the meat and help to dissect any catch.

Breeding/reproduction Behaviour

This species is incredibly rare, so very little is known about how it reproduces. They usually build their nests using twigs high up in the tree canopies, this is probably to keep their eggs safe from ground predators as well as securing a better vantage point for prey.

The female black-and-white hawk-eagle will lay an egg every 2 to 3 years, which then incubates over a period of 40 to 48 days. The chicks will usually hatch a little after this.

Their Calls/Sounds

Black-And-White Hawk-Eagle

This eagle has been variously described as having a rising, piercing call that it usually reserves for signalling to its mate. The chicks have a quieter, slightly shriller call that they use to arouse the attention of their parents, usually for feeding.

What Do They Eat (Diet)

This bird is completely carnivorous and will feast on toads, mammals, squamates and a wide variety of water birds. They have been recorded sightings of this bird attacking tree monkeys, although it has not been shown to attack and eat any of these animals.

Where Do They Live (Habitat)

These species are usually found in the Central America region, either in El Salvador or the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. This eagle has been shown to fly around certain parts of the country such as Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay.

There are rarely any of these birds found as far as the Amazon basin though.

You can also find this creature in the Loreto region of North Eastern Peru. This bird is most common around the northern regions of Central America.

What Are Their Nesting Habits

The birds will start to construct their nest in September during a dry spell in the rainy season. Observers have discovered that a nest will sometimes be abandoned if the rain starts too soon in the season.

Data on the nesting season is very scarce, although research suggests that the nesting season finishes in around March to June.

How long Do They Live (Lifespan)

In captivity, this species of hawk-eagle has been shown to live around 45 years. In the wild, it lives slightly less, due to natural predators in the environment and wear and tear on its body. You can be sure that this creature will live to around 30 years old in the wild.

What Predators Do They Have

This creature really has no natural predators, seen as an apex predator in its territory. However, one of the more common forms of death for this bird is human beings. They are often found crushed at the side of the road by a car or truck.

What Are Their Feathers Like

They have dark plumage on their body, which then suddenly changes to white around the head and neck area. The juvenile of this species will often have more brown-grey plumage, which will continue to darken as the years go by.

What Does Their Poop Look Like

They often have very stringy white poop that can be found hanging from the branches underneath their nest. This has been known to have a pungent smell, especially when investigated up close.

The diet of this bird is what causes it to have such a stringy texture of discharge. Studies have shown that this bird has a high level of iron in its stools.

Do They Migrate

This bird does not migrate, as it is largely used to the hot and humid climates of Central America.

You can be sure that this bird will be far less active during the latter parts of the year, mainly rearing its chicks in the nest and rarely going out hunting for food.

Conservation Status

This hawk has been given the designation of ‘least concern’, which means that its numbers are dwindling, although this is not of much concern to the Central American government as of yet.

One of the main causes of the decimation of this species is the deforestation of large parts of the forest in which they dwell.

The main reason for the decrease in this animal’s number is the encroachment of human beings on their territory. Deforestation and ripping down habitat are some of the major concerns regarding animal population in this part of the world.

Fun Facts

This eagle has multiple taxonomies, including Spizaetus Melanoleaucus, Geranoaetus and Bueto. Some of these names have long fallen out of favor as newer, more specific ones have been developed.

Very little is known about the biology and behavior of this species, although many scientists monitoring it have discovered numerous patterns of behavior and are developing a much larger profile of this bird.

There have been cases where an eagle has killed a monkey, although observers are unsure as to the reasons why this has been done. No eagle has been seen to eat a monkey either.

When this bird is not soaring, it can be found perched in the bare branches looking for food. This animal does not like to remain in one place for too long, often combing the rich and green valleys for small animals and other indigenous fowl.