|Leucopternis||occidentalis||SA||w Ecuador, nw Peru|
Members of the genus Leucopternis are small to medium-sized buteonine hawks with short and rounded wings and a moderate length tail. In some species the sides of the head are partly bare of feathers and brightly coloured, as are the legs. P1umage pattern is quite simple; immatures are similar to adults. This large genus is placed between Buteo and Buteogallus, and contains ten species, all tropical American.
Listen to the sound of Grey-backed Hawk
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
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|size min.:||45||cm||size max.:||58||cm|
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Video Grey-backed Hawk
copyright: Martin Kennewell
There has been extensive habitat destruction and fragmentation throughout its range, with over 90% of west Ecuador now deforested. Clearance for timber and agriculture, and intense grazing pressure from goats and cattle in the forest understorey, have led to west Ecuador’s forests becoming one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems. Even Machalilla National Park is affected by settlement, cutting, livestock-grazing and hunting.
The Grey-backed Hawk is endemic the Tumbesian biogeographic region of western Ecuador and immediately adjacent Peru. It ranges in semi-deciduous and evergreen forests from 100-1400 m where it soars low over the forests in search of various food items such as land crabs, beetles, katydid, frogs, snakes, lizards and small rodents. Though formerly widespread in the region, due to heavy deforestation and habitat modification its range has been reduced considerably; only 4-5 localities remain that contain any substantial population, the largest of which is in the Machalilla National Park. The Tumbes Reserved Zone of Peru also may harbor as many, although the inaccessibility of this site to date has precluded a thorough census.