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Galápagos Hawk - Eco-Tour - Ecuador

The Galápagos Hawk (Buteo galapagoensis, gavilán de Galápagos) is an impressive and fearless large, dark brown bird of prey. Adults have a dark banded tail, yellow, hooked bill, and strong yellow talons. The female has the same general features but has a larger, more imposing stature. Juveniles are lighter brown and heavily mottled.

Nests—large, disorganized conglomerations of twigs—are usually constructed in trees or on a rocky outcrop. Following an unusual mating system termed “cooperative polyandry,” each female will mate with up to four males, which take turns incubating the two or three eggs in the nest and raising the young. Young birds are expelled from the territory after about four months and begin to breed two years later.

A fearsome predator and scavenger with no natural enemies, the Galápagos hawk delights in a smorgasbord of foods, especially baby iguanas, lizards, small birds, dead goats or sea lions, and sea lion placenta. It can often be seen flying or perching impatiently near an iguana nesting area during April and May, when baby iguanas begin to emerge from their eggs. The hawk is best viewed at Punta Suarez and Gardner Bay (Española), South Plaza, Santa Fé, and Punta Espinosa (Fernandina).


Here are other activities in and around The Galápagos Islands that may be of interest: Rays in the Galápagos Islands, Galápagos Dove, Short-Eared Owl, Punta Espinosa, More Isabela Visitor Sites, Land Birds - Galápagos and Land Birds - Galápagos.

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