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Galapagos hawk

Galapagos hawk
© Simon Pierce

Common name:

Galapagos hawk

Scientific name:

Buteo galapagoensis

Spanish name:

Gavilán de Galápagos

Conservation status:



Average size:

56 centimetres tall, 120 centimetres wingspan

Maximum size:


Average weight:

650 grams

Maximum weight:

850 grams


The Galapagos hawk is closely related to North America’s red-backed and white-tailed hawks, and is endemic to the Galapagos Islands. It is one of the world’s rarest raptors, with an estimated population of just 150 breeding pairs. They are common on the main islands in Galapagos, where the adults can easily be recognised by their dark brown, sometimes almost black plumage. Juvenile hawks on the other hand are much paler, with their cream plumage providing camouflage to hide them from potential predators until they reach maturity. Adults have an average wingspan of 1.2 metres, with a broad tail and strong talons. As with many birds of prey, females tend to be larger than males.

Galapagos hawks in Galapagos

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