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Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons of North Dakota

JPG -- Picture of Species

Broad-Winged Hawk
Buteo platypterus


The broad-winged hawk is a small, stocky, buteo that is found primarily in the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota. Its small size and conspicuous broad black and white bands across the bottom of the tail are good identifying characteristics. Broad-winged hawks are usually found in habitats that are characteristic of mature deciduous forests that also include brushy, woody margins. Prey selection varies within the broad-winged hawk's territory.

Prey consists primarily of small mammals and reptiles, but it will also take small birds, amphibians, insects, and even earthworms. It usually watches for prey from a perch such as a telephone pole or fence post and occasionally hunts for prey while flying.

Breeding occurs in late May and June in the hawk's northern US range. They can be seen in North Dakota from late April until early September. Nests are placed in a variety of trees and are rather small and poorly built, and are ordinarily used only once. Broad-winged hawks lay 2 to 3 eggs and both the male and the female incubate the eggs and care for the young. Incubation takes about 28 days and the young leave the nest for their first flight 44 to 48 days after hatching.


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