The breeding behaviour of this species is currently unknown.

The Slate-colored Hawk is probably sedentary.
It has rounded wings and only performs short-distance flights. It rarely soars.

No information. But like most species of genus Buteogallus, the Slate-colored Hawk probably builds a stick nest high in tree.  

The Slate-colored Hawk is threatened by habitat loss caused by deforestation in Amazonia.
The species has large range and the population is estimated at several thousands, but it is suspected to be declining.
The Slate-colored Hawk is not globally threatened and currently evaluated as Least Concern.

Fr: Buse ardoisée
Ang: Slate-colored Hawk
All: Schieferbussard
Esp: Busardo Pizarroso
Ita: Poiana ardesia
Nd: Leigrijze Buizerd
Sd: skiffervråk


Roger Ahlman
Pbase Galleries Peru and Ecuador & My bird pictures on IBC

William Price
PBase-tereksandpiper & Flickr William Price

Text by Nicole Bouglouan


HANDBOOK OF THE BIRDS OF THE WORLD Vol 2 by Josep del Hoyo-Andrew Elliot-Jordi Sargatal - Lynx Edicions - ISBN: 8487334156

A GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF COLOMBIA by Steven L. Hilty and William L. Brown - Princeton University Press – ISBN 069108372X

BIRDS OF PERU by Thomas S. Schulenberg, Douglas F. Stotz, Daniel F. Lane, John P. O’Neill, Theodore A. Parker III – Princeton University Press 2007– ISBN: 978-0-691-13023-1

Birds of Ecuador De Robin Restall, Juan Freile - Bloomsbury Publishing, 2019 – ISBN: 147297249X, 9781472972491 - 576 pages

BIRDS OF VENEZUELA by Steven L. Hilty – Ed. Christopher Helm – ISBN: 0713664185 

Avibase (Denis Lepage)

Birdlife International

HBW Alive

Peru Aves - Peru Birds

Global Raptor Information Network - Working to Conserve Birds of Prey in nature

Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia


Neotropical Birds – Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Field Observation of Predation of a Slate-Colored Hawk, Leucopternis schistacea, On a Juvenile Saddle-Back Tamarin, Saguinus fuscicollis


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Slate-colored Hawk
Buteogallus schistaceus

Accipitriformes Order – Accipitridae Family

The Slate-colored Hawk is an elegant slate-grey raptor of the Amazonian forests where it is often found near water, in gallery forest and mangroves. It typically feeds on several animal prey caught by dropping down from a perch near water.
The Slate-colored Hawk is described as fairly common in its large range, although deforestation in Amazonia is a long-term threat for this species. But currently, it is not globally threatened.  

Length: 41-46 cm
Wingspan: 85-96 cm
Weight of one female: 455 g, but the male is slightly smaller.

The Slate-colored Hawk is a medium-sized dark hawk with rounded wings and fairly short tail.  
The adult has dark, slate-grey plumage overall, slightly darker and blackish on head and wings. The tail is black with a conspicuous single white bar and a narrower white tip.
The underparts are dark grey, but the underwing-coverts are blackish.
The bill is black. Cere, lores, eyering, legs and feet are orange-red. The eyes are yellow to reddish-yellow.
Male and female are similar, but the female is slightly larger than male.
The juvenile/immature has belly, underwing and thighs finely barred with white. The eyes are yellow. Cere and legs are orange-yellow, usually paler than in adults.

The Slate-colored Hawk is found in Amazonia and occurs from SE Colombia and SW Venezuela, S through E Ecuador and E Peru to N and E Bolivia, and E to NE French Guiana and CN Brazil.

The Slate-colored Hawk hunts at water edges and usually occurs in a wide corridor along the main course of the Amazon River in the central Amazon basin.
It often perches near lakes, streams, swamps and other forest wetlands. It also frequents mangroves and gallery forests, and seasonally flooded llanos in Colombia and S Venezuela. The species occurs from sea-level to 500 metres of elevation at least.

The Slate-colored Hawk gives a descending, slurred, whistled “keeleeuu” repeated with long intervals. We can also hear a rapid series of ringing “kikikiki” or “kak” notes.

The Slate-colored Hawk is closely associated with water. It feeds on various prey such as snakes, lizards, frogs, crabs, fish and insects. But some observations also report predation on juvenile Saddle-back Tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis) and on a perched bird.

The Slate-colored Hawk hunts mainly from perch where it performs « sit-and-wait » behaviour, before to drop down to catch a prey at water edge. It perches from fairly high to low, and even sometimes on stream banks. It avoids diving directly into the water.