Wild Birds

Black Hawk-Eagles or Tyrant Hawk-Eagles

The Black Hawk-Eagles (Spizaetus tyrannus), also known as the Tyrant Hawk-Eagle or, in Brazil, as the “Gavião-pega-macaco”, which means “monkey-catching hawk” – as it is known to prey on monkeys..

Distribution / Range

The Black Hawk Eagle is endemic to central Mexico to eastern Peru, the south of Brazil, and far northern Argentina.

They inhabit humid and moist forests – typically close to rivers and several types of woodland. .


The Black Hawk eagles are light and small compared to other members of its genus.

It has mostly black plumage with varying patterns on its wings and body, and some white speckling.

The wings are barred and slightly elliptical in shape.

The tail is narrow and rarely fanned. The white line seen slightly above the bird’s eye and four grey bars on the tail are distinctive to the Black Hawk-Eagle.


Black Hawk Eagles prey on birds as large as toucans, as well as opossums and monkeys.


The Black Hawk-Eagles builds its nest with sticks and possibly other plant material often high up in tall trees. The dimensions of the nest is about 1 x 0.5 meters.

Related Web Resources:  EaglesBirds of PreyThe Sport of Falconry


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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