Wild Birds

Crane Hawks

Crane Hawks (Geranospiza caerulescens)

The Crane Hawks (Geranospiza caerulescens) is a bird of prey of the harrier subfamily.

Crane Hawks of Old Tree Trunk
Crane Hawks of Old Tree Trunk

Distribution / Range

The Crane Hawk’s range stretches from Mexico through to northern Argentina, Specifically, the countries where it is found include Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Its favored habitats include most types of forests, woodland, and even savannah areas, provided there are nearby trees. It is restricted to lowlands and is often found near water.


The Crane Hawk is mostly grey with a black tail showing two whitish bands and white tips. In flight, it shows a small head, a long tail, and broad, rounded wings with long primary wing feathers.

The long orange-red legs of the Crane Hawk are striking, and make identification easy in those areas where there are no raptors with similar legs.

Its flight action usually consists of a few beats followed by a glide.

The Crane Hawk Sitting In The Branch Of A Water
The Crane Hawk Sitting In The Branch Of A Water

Diet / Feeding

The Crane Hawk is omnivorous; it feeds on a wide variety of prey including frogs, lizards, snakes, nestlings, insects, and spiders.

Its ability to climb, using wings as well as feet, and its long double-jointed legs, enables this bird of prey to raid bird nests in bird cavities for fledglings.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


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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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