What kind of hawk has a white head and white tail?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

The white-tailed hawk, scientifically known as Geranoaetus albicaudatus, is a species of hawk that is easily recognized by its distinctive white head and white tail. This remarkable bird belongs to the genus Geranoaetus and is found in various parts of the Americas, including Southwestern United States, Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America.

The Geranoaetus albicaudatus is a medium-sized hawk with a wingspan of around 3-4 feet and a body length of approximately 18-24 inches. Its most striking feature is its white head, which contrasts vividly against its dark brown body. The white tail feathers further accentuate its unique appearance, making it easily distinguishable from other hawks.

In terms of habitat, the white-tailed hawk prefers open grasslands, savannas, and agricultural areas. It can also be found in desert scrublands and occasionally in forested regions. This species is often seen perched on elevated spots, such as fence posts or tree branches, scanning the surroundings for prey.

As for its diet, the white-tailed hawk primarily feeds on small mammals, including rodents like mice and rats. It also preys on reptiles, such as snakes and lizards, and occasionally feeds on birds and large insects. This hawk is known for its impressive hunting skills and often utilizes a combination of soaring and hovering to locate and catch its prey.

I personally had the opportunity to observe a white-tailed hawk during a visit to South Texas. I was captivated by its stunning appearance as it perched on a fence post, its white head gleaming in the sunlight. It was a remarkable sight to see this majestic bird effortlessly gliding through the air, scanning the grasslands below for any signs of movement.

The white-tailed hawk, scientifically known as Geranoaetus albicaudatus, is a striking hawk species with its white head and white tail. It is a medium-sized bird found in various regions of the Americas, and it primarily feeds on small mammals and reptiles. Its habitat preference includes open grasslands and savannas. Observing this magnificent hawk in person left a lasting impression on me, highlighting the beauty and diversity of our avian friends.