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Juvenile Puna Hawk

Buteo poecilochrous


from . . . Puna Hawk : Buteo poecilochrous (Variable Hawk, Gurney's Hawk) The Puna Hawk is distributed in the Andes from southern Colombia through Ecuador, Peru and south-west Bolivia to northern Chile and north-western Argentina. It is found in the puna zone of the Andes above 3,000 metres. There is disagreement about the status of this species. HBW, Howard & Moore, the SACC/AOU and Ferguson-Lees give it species status though Ferguson-Lees gives it the English name of Gurney's Hawk which doesn't seem to be used by any other authority. On the other hand Jaramillo lumps it with Red-backed Hawk and treats it as a sub-species with the collective name of Variable Hawk B. polyosoma. There is also an SACC proposal to make the two conspecific. Alvaro Jaramillo explains that they were separated on the facts that Puna Hawk was larger than Red-backed Hawk, had broader wings and was found at higher elevations. However, it now seems that these differences are clinal or gradual. The fact that vocalisations are the same also adds to the case for treating the two as a single species. There are certainly wide variations in plumage. Also . . .

1 Species ID Suggestions

Liam 11 years ago
Variable Hawk
Buteo polyosoma poecilochrous BirdForum

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Rusty63 11 years ago

unfortunately just the one shot . . . managed to get very close and took a head shot, but then it flew off

Maria dB
Maria dB 11 years ago

How did you get such a close-up?

Liam 11 years ago

Any other photos where we may be able to see the rest of the bird would be extremely helpful. I have an ID suggestion put down as the "Puna" Variable Hawk tentatively.
See this photo:

Jellis 11 years ago

Do you have more shots of the bird?

Spotted by

Arequipa, Peru

Spotted on Apr 16, 2011
Submitted on Aug 16, 2012

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