Variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma)

Order: Accipitriformes | Family: Accipitridae | IUCN Status: Least Concern

Age: Adult  | Sex: ♂ | ♀ | ♀ | Loc. Western Peru

Age: Adult | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Peruvian Andes

Age: Juveniles | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Andes and Western Peru

Age: Adult & Juveniles | Sex: Unknown | Loc. Various

Identification & Behavior: ~53 cm (21 in). The Variable Hawk has multiple plumage types. The typical western lowland birds have gray upperparts and top of the head with and extensive rufous back in females. Highland birds appear larger on average and have more variable plumages; highland birds were formerly known as Puna Hawk. The plumages in high Andean birds include the typical gray and white plumage, but can also be dark and rufous, purely blackish brown, and various intermediate combinations. However, adult birds in all regions and color morphs have a white or light gray tail with a black terminal band. Females of the typical gray and white form are similar to a White-tailed Hawk, but their ranges are not known to overlap. Dark morphs may resemble a Harris’s Hawk. Also, see White-throated Hawk.

Status: The Variable Hawk is common and widespread in the western lowlands, foothills and the high Andes where it ranges at elevation up to 4600 m. It also occurs in Co, Ec, Br, Bo, Ch.

Name in Spanish: Aguilucho Variable.

Sub-species: Variable Hawk (Geranoaetus polyosoma polyosoma), Quoy and Gaimard 1824.
(G. p. fjeldsai), Cabot and de Vries 2009. No data. C Andes of Colombia S through Andes to Patagonia.

Meaning of Name: Geranoaetus: Gr. geranos crane, crane and aetos= eagle. polyosoma: Gr. polios= gray and soma= body.

See more of the Family Accipitridae   peru aves

Distribution Map
varialble hawkVoice


    • Species range based on: Schulenberg, T. S., D. F. Stotz, and L. Rico. 2006. Distribution maps of the birds of Peru, version 1.0. Environment, Culture & Conservation (ECCo). The Field Museum. on 08/01/2015.