Title: Neotropical raptor network newsletter= Boletín de la red de rapaces neotropicales= boletim a rede de aves de rapina neotropicales
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00099464/00013
 Material Information
Title: Neotropical raptor network newsletter= Boletín de la red de rapaces neotropicales= boletim a rede de aves de rapina neotropicales
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Publisher: Peregrine Fund
Place of Publication: Boise, Idaho
Publication Date: June 2009
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00099464
Volume ID: VID00013
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Re.m. Raae -eotoiae emR


Studying hawk- 1
eagles in Belize

Raptor monitoring 2
in Colombia

American Kestrel 4
in Peru

Community Edu- 7
cation in Panama

New Literature on 9

Upcoming Confer-_12

Studying Hawk-Eagles in Belize Text and photos by Ryan
Phillips, Belize Research Raptor Institute, www.belizeraptorresearch.org, harpiabz@yahoo.com

In 2009, the Belize Raptor Re-
search Institute (BRRI)
launched the Hawk-Eagle Pro-
gram in Belize as an effort to
better understand all three
poorly known hawk-eagle spe-
cies. This minimum ten year
program will focus on locating
active nests of all three species
of Hawk-Eagle (Ornate, Black,
and Black and White), gaining
information on nesting biology,
home range size, movement
patterns, habitat utilization, for-
aging ecology and understand-
ing intraspecific and interspeci-
fic competition through nest
monitoring and radio telemetry.
To date, BRRI with the help of
local peoples and other organi-
zations have located seven ac-
tive nests throughout Belize;
one Black Hawk-Eagle
(SpiZaetus tyrannus); four Ornate
Hawk-Eagle (SpiZaetus ornatus);
and two Black and White
Hawk-Eagle (SpiZaetus melanoleu-

From anecdotal record trends
and dwindling habitat the hawk-
eagles are considered "species
with dangerously low popula-
tions" (Clinton-Eitniear 1986).
All three hawk-eagle species are
listed as Least Concern by the
IUCN, but the Black and White
Hawk-Eagle was listed as Near
Threatened from 1988 to 2000
(IUCN 2008). With insufficient

baseline data we can not
properly assess present
populations and make
demographic predictions.
The hawk-eagles could be
more or less endangered
than current estimations,
so as we learn more about
these species we can bet-
ter quantify populations.

To date, The Peregrine
Fund's Maya Project is
one of the largest full
scale studies conducted
on Neotropical raptors,

which took place in Tikal
National Park, Guatemala
during the late 1980's and
early 1990's. Of the three
hawk-eagle species the Or-
nate Hawk-Eagle has been
studied extensively from
nest surveys to radio te-
lemetry (Lyon and
Kuhnigk 1985, Klein et. al.
1988, Flatten et. al. 1989, J.
Madrid et. al. 1991, H. Ma-
drid et. al. 1992). During
the Maya Project three
Black Hawk-Eagle nests
(Continued on page 10)

Juvenile Spizaetus ornatus

Raptor Monitoring in el Valle del Rio Sumapaz, Colombia
Text and photos by Diego Soler, MV, MSc, Departamento de Investigaci6n de la Asociaci6n de Veterinarios de Vida
Silvestre (VVS) and Asociaci6n Colombiana de Oritologia (ACO), dsolert@gmail.com

The Sumapaz River Valley is part of
the region of the same name, lo-
cated in the eastern mountain chain,
south of the Cundinamarca in cen-
tral Colombia. This valley belongs
to the biogeographic province of
Magdalena, which is inhabited by a
high proportion of the raptors
found in Colombia (MArquez et al,
2005). This distribution of raptors
is a result of the interaction of cli-
matic, geomorphologic, and ecolo-
gic conditions, as well as the evolu-
tionary processes of the region. The
type of habitat in this valley is char-
acterized by riparian habitat, bushes
and secondary forest, although
there are areas that have been al-
tered by humans; additionally, along
the entire valley there are thermal
currents, which favor the presence
of birds of prey.
The knowledge about pat-
terns of distribution, abundance
and composition of raptors in the
Sumapaz River Valley is limited
(Hilty & Brown, 1986; MArquez et
al, 2005). For this reason, I began
monitoring the raptors in the valley
zone, specifically in Chinauta (N 4
16', O 74030', 990 meters in eleva-

tion), in the FusagasugA Municipality,
Cundinamarca Department.
I used "observation points"
to conduct an inventory of raptors at
two points: one on the edge of a
mountain with a view to the valley
and the other in the plains before
this edge (with the greatest human
intervention). I made the observa-
tions over four days in January, 2009
and three days in May of the same
year, from 08:00 until 18:00, for an
effort of 70 hours.
In January, I sighed a light
morph Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo
brachyurus), a White-tailed Kite
(Elanus leucums), a pair of Aplomado
Falcons (Falco femora/is), a Yellow-
headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima)
and six Black Vultures (Coragyps atra-
In May, I recorded a juvenile,
dark-morph Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo
brachyurus), two Roadside Hawks
(Buteo magnirostris), a White-tailed
Kite (Elanus leucumrs) and 20 Black
Vultures (Coragyps atratus), for a total
of 35 individuals of six species of
diurnal raptors.
The sighting of B. brachyrus
is consistent with the reported alti-
tudinal distribution (<1800 m.) for

this species (Hilty & Brown, 1986;
MArquez et al, 2005), but was made
in a new location, close to an area
where previous sightings had oc-
curred. The identification of this
species was difficult due to its simi-
larity to other species (B. swainsoni,
B. albicaudatus, among others) and
for its flight in thermal currents
alongside groups of vultures (C.
aatatus) (Ferguson & Christie, 2001;
Seipke, 2005).
B. magnirostrs is a species
with ample distribution in Colom-
bia, both in unaltered areas as well
as in urban zones, and it is found
below 2600 meters of elevation
(Hilty & Brown, 1986; MArquez et
al, 2005).
E. leucumrs is distributed up
to 2600 meters in elevation along
the valleys of the province of Mag-
dalena (Hilty & Brown, 1986;
MArquez et al, 2005).
femoralis is at the limit of
its altitudinal distribution in this
area (<1000 m.) and it has been re-
ported previously in the biogeo-
raphic province of Magdalena
(Hilty & Brown, 1986; MArquez et
al, 2005).

M. chimachima is found up to
1800 meters in elevation and, just like
the Roadside Hawk, has an ample
geographic distribution (Hilty &
Brown, 1986; Marquez et al, 2005).
Finally, C. atratus has been re-
ported at 2700 meters in elevation and
is found throughout Colombia (Hilty
& Brown, 1986; Marquez et al, 2005).
These diurnal raptors are pre-
sent in the study area due to the corre-
sponding lowland tropical habitats
close to the base of the mountains,
forests mixed with pastures, bush
steppes and open areas, as well as the
presence of potential prey which in-
cludes other bird species, rodents, liz-
ards and insects (Mirquez et al, 2005).
These are the preliminary re-
sults of this initial monitoring effort,
which will contribute to the knowl-
edge of the raptor species in the Su-
mapaz River Valley, clarifying certain
aspects about their patterns of distri-
bution, abundance and composition
in these types of habitats, taking into

account that in this small region
six species were recorded in two
distinct and short periods of time.
Taking these results into ac-
count, the Sumapaz River Valley is
clearly important to birds of prey,
based not only on the above-
mentioned landscape and habitat
characteristics, but also on the fact
that in this valley one can observe
species of raptors some of which
have been previously documented in
similar habitats, as well as new sight-
ings, such as B. brachyurus. This site is
an important point from which to
conduct surveys for the raptors men-
tioned here as well as other species of
birds of prey in the long term.
I wish to thank the members
of the discussion groups
"Neotropical Raptor Network" and
"Foro Rapaces", especially Sergio
Seipke, Agustin Quaglia, Liliana
Olveira, Carlos Funes, Lloyd Kiff and
Helen Snyder, for their support in the
identification of some species men-

tioned here.


Ferguson-Lees, J. & D. Christie.
2001. Raptors of the World. New
York: Houghton Mifflin Company.
992 p.

Hilty, S. & W. Brown. 1986. A
Guide to the Birds of Colombia. New
Jersey: Princeton University Press.
836 p.

MArquez, C., Gast, F., Vanegas, V.
& M. Bechard. 2005. Aves Rapaces
Diumas de Colombia. BogotA: Institu-
to de Investigaci6n de Recursos
Biol6gicos Alexander von Hum-
boldt. 394 p.

Seipke, S. 2005. Identificaci6n del
Aguilucho Jote (Buteo albonotatus) en
el Campo. NuestrasAves 50: 12-14

The American Kestrel: Understanding Aspects of its Behavior in
Rural and Urban Environments Text and Photo by Cesar Lautaro ChAvez-Villavicencio
Instituto Internacional en Conservaci6n y Manejo de Vida Silvestre. Universidad Nacional, Heredia. Costa Rica.
Aptdo. 1350 3000. Heredia, Costa Rica. lautaroperu@yahoo.es

Falcons, which belong to
the family Falconidae, are voracious
hunters of birds, small mammals
and some insects. They normally
capture their prey from great
heights and exhibit unique behav-
iors within this family. Falcons are
known for having pointed wings
and long tails. The American Kes-
trel (Falco sparverius) is distinguished
from other falcons for its small size
and its distinct rufus colorization
and black markings. The species
frequents open fields and can be
seen on the coast and in the Andes
of Peru (Koepcke 1964). This spe-
cies holds territories (which it de-
fends quite fiercely) and can be seen
frequently in both rural and urban
environments. Due to the relative
ease of observing a raptor in these
environments, we decided to study
certain aspects of its behavior both
in the coast and in the mountains of

I began the study in January
of 1995 and finished in July of
2003. The territorial and behavioral
observations I conducted princi-
pally in the urban area of Los Jardi-
nes of the San Martin de Porres and
Jes6s Maria districts, between 07:00
and 13:00 and between 15:00 and
18:00, from a set observation point
at a height of 7.50 m. above the
ground, from January until March,
1995. Observations were made four
times per week but only two obser-
vations per week were made during
the months of April and December

of the same year. To define a pair's
territory, I used an urbanization
planning map designed by the Pe-
ruvian Telephone Company. On
this map, I marked the exact points
where the birds were sighted when
the bird was perched, and marked
an approximate point when the
bird was flying or if access to the
site was difficult. I defined the lim-
its of a pair's territory by marking
those points at which I registered
confrontations with other bird spe-
cies or with individuals of the same
I made additional observa-
tions in parks and plazas within the
San Martin de Porres and Jes6s
Maria districts, the Universidad Na-
cional Mayor de San Marcos cam-
pus, the Unidad Vecinal, the Uni-
versidad Nacional de Piura campus,
and plazas and parks in the prov-
ince of Piura y Sullana over several
months from January 1996 to July
2003, to gain information about
diet, reproduction, territorial de-
fense, care of the chicks and other
behaviors. In April and July 1996
and 1997 I also made observations
in a rural zone in the province of
Canta (Lima), close to the Chill6n
River in Obrajillo, and in the out-
skirts of Piura y Sullana between
1998 and 2003.

Delimitation of Territory
The American Kestrel
(Fig. 1) is a territorial spe-
cies. It defends its terri-
tory with direct con-

frontations; when another individ-
ual of the same species or a differ-
ent species invades a pair's territory,
the male and the female act right
away to chase it off. They both
stoop the intruder, often making
contact with it, while emitting a
"kiri kiri kiri" sound. In the urban
areas I observed that the pair works
together to delimit their territories.
Both the male and the female make
flights around the area, perching in
sites that are considerably high such
as television antennas located be-
tween 10 and 15 m. above the
ground or radio antennas that are
20 m. or higher. One of the indi-
viduals being studied was observed
perching on a transmission antenna
located on La Milla Hill (District of
San Martin de
Porres), at an
height of
170 and _k

Fig. 1 Male American Kestrel
(Falco sparverius). Note the
marks on its head and breast,
characteristic of this species.

200 m., above the North Pan-
American Highway.
On many occasions I ob-
served the pair together on the same
perch. I also noted that each time the
male flew from that perch to another
perch, the female took off 5 or 10
seconds after the male. During these
flights, they did not emit any type of
vocalization, but at each perching
point the pair remained vigilant,
looking from one side to the other
for one or two hours, or even up to
4 hours on some occasions. The
flights delimiting the territory took
place about one month before copu-
This area, delimited by the
pair, I considered to be their breed-
ing territory, due to the fact that
within this territory I observed them
copulate, and care for and feed their
young. This territory is framed by a
larger territory, in which I could ob-
serve an individual making demarca-
tion flights but with less frequency
than in the reproductive territory.
The largest territory of a pair is esti-
mated to be 60 hectares, while the
reproductive territory is approxi-
mately 25 hectares. (Fig. 2). In rural
environments, it appears that the te-
rritory of the American Kestrel is
much larger than in urban environ-
ments, but this still needs to be con-
firmed. If, in fact, their territory is
much smaller in urban environments,
anthropogenic factors or a greater
abundance of prey may be the cause.

Description of Habitat
Urban Environments
Though varied, habitats
within American Kestrel territories
include parks with trees up to 5 m. in
height, bushes and grass. The trees
are used as perches for resting, roost-
ing, or patrolling. During my obser-

vations, the pair perched on the
periphery of the tree tops about 3
or 4 meters from each other. I did
not observe them doing anything
else in these areas. They also used
radio towers that were 15 m. high,
water tanks at 40 m. high and
church steeples. The individuals
perch at different heights and from
there carry out their observations
and vigilance of their territory.
These sights are also used for
copulation and feeding. The elec-
trical and telephone wires, posts,
among other places, are also used
as resting or observation points.
Rural Enironments
While urban sites are pre-
dominantly composed of man-
made structures within the green
areas, rural environments are com-
posed of much more natural space.
There are many trees that reach up
to 20 m. in height. There are also
many bushes and agricultural fields
mainly of corn and cotton, which
is where I saw the falcons hunt
with the greatest frequency.

Capturing of Prey
In my study, I was able to
determine 7 ways in which this
species captures and feeds on its

1. Perch Static Prey -_Perch:
The individual locates its prey
from high up on a perch. The prey
may be found in tree branches or
on a telephone cable or other
perches. The Kestrel makes a
stooping dive after the prey, grabs
it with its talons and returns to
feed at the same perch from where
it started.

2. Perch Static Prey Nearby
Perch: This hunt occurs the same

way as described above (1.), but in
this case, the falcon does not carry
its prey back to the original perch,
but to a spot closest to the kill.

3. Perch Static Prey Far
Perch: This hunt occurs the same
way as described above (1.) but in
this case the falcon, after catching
its prey, flew farther away to an
unknown site.

4. Flight Static Prey Nearby
Perch: The individual falcon spots
its prey from high up, and after
diving, hovers in the air. It then
stoops onto the prey and carries it
to a nearby perch to feed.

5. Flight Static Prey Far
Perch: The same thing happens as
in the above example (4.), but this
time the individual flies to a far
off, undetermined perch.

6. Perch -_Prey in Flight Far
Perch: The falcon spots its prey,
which is in flight, from a high
perch. It takes off in pursuit. If
successful, the kestrel carries its
kill to a safe, distant perch to feed.

7. Flight -_Prey in Flight -
Perch: In this case, an individual
spots its prey from the air and
pursues it by stooping. In case it
catches its prey, it carries it to a
safe place a perch either close by
or far away, to ingest it.

During this study, I ob-
served these small raptors feeding
on Colombina crutana and unidenti-
fied bat species. I also observed
one individual feeding on a cock-
roach (Periplaneta americana) in an
(Continued on page 6)


urban environment, but I did not
see the capture.

This is the first year that a
pair has been observed nesting at
this site. I could find out very
little about the reproductive be-
havior of the American Kestrel.
However, I observed that they
do not participate in any notable
courtship behavior. The male
chases the female directly from
perch to perch within their terri-
tory, until both are on the same
perch and they copulate. Copula-
tion is quick lasting barely 2
seconds. When the male dis-
mounts from the female, they
both remain still for a minute or

two, observing their surroundings,
before visiting other perches within
their territory. I was unable to locate
the nest, nor how it was made. The
nest was most likely located in the
area of Cerro la Milla. Access to this
site is restricted because of the cell
phone towers. Since I could not loca-
te the nest, I also was not able to de-
termine the number of eggs laid,
though Mc Collough (2000) says that
the female can lay up to three eggs
and be quite promiscuous having
two or three partners. During this
study, I observed that the female re-
mained with the male at all times.
About 90 days after copulation, I ob-
served an individual fledgling. It was
interesting to observe how often the
male as well as the female fed the
newest addition to the family.


Koepcke, Maria. 1964. Las Aves del
Departamento de Lima. Ta-
lleres GrAfica Morson S.A.
Lima -_Peru. 118 pp.

McCollough, Kathryn. Falco
sparverius (American Kestrel)
2000. [Serial on line] 2000
[cited 2003 July]; available
from URL: http://

Fig. 2
The red indicates the pair's territory during
non-breeding season.
The yellow marks breeding territory in an
urban environment in Lima.
The blue indicates the territory of another
pair, as does the green.
(Source: Yellow Pages Phone Book, Peru,

Adventure in the forests of Darien: Who is Nepono? A Children's
Perspective Text and Photos by Jos6 de Jesus Vargas GonzAlez, The Peregrine Fund, E-mail:

"Nepono is a four year old Harpy
Eagle that hatched in captivity in
Panama City. She is curious, calm,
observant, and, most importantly, a
peaceful bird: this eagle would
never cause any harm to people.
We should protect and conserve
her in this amazing forest." This
was the answer Embera technician,
Liofano Berrugate, gave to a child's
question "who is Nepono?"
And... "What does Nepono eat?"
This question came from a little
boy. I was amazed by this question,
since this particular child had par-
ticipated in several of the environ-
mental talks we have given in this
community. Instead of answering
the question, I asked the boy:
"What does the Harpy Eagle eat
here in Darien?" He responded im-
mediately: "the Harpy Eagle eats
"buchas" (sloths), gototus (Howler
Monkeys), bichichi (Geofrroy's
Tamarin), and sometimes opogas
(iguanas)." After hearing this cor-
rect answer, I asked: "Then, why do
you ask me what Nepono eats?"
And he answered, "I thought that
Nepono eats special food, because

she is from the city...!" Harpy Eagles; some drawings
After a brief explanation about Nepono, looked like other birds of prey,
and her ecology, Rosa Amalia, an 11 yearwhereas others had very impressive
old girl asked me, "Can we draw Ne- similarity with Harpy Eagles. After
pono?" That question triggered an im- they had finished drawing, Liofano
provised environmental education activ- and I asked some of the children to
ity with the children of the La Marea explain their art. Rosa Amalia was
community. The children, between 4 the first volunteer to explain her
and 12 years old, drew their vision of drawing (of a juvenile Harpy Eagle
perched in a tree in disturbed forest.


"Nepono" is a captive-bred female Harpy Eagle hatched in captivity as part of The
Peregrine Fund's Captive Breeding and Release Program for this species. She hatched on
December 31, 2004 at The Peregrine Fund's Neotropical Raptor Center in Panama City and,
at 18 months of age, was released in Soberania National Park, Panama. There, she learned
to hunt and successfully adapted to her environment. In 2009, she was transported to the
Forest Reserve of Chepigana in Darien Province, and re-released a month later, as part of
an experimental project. Our goals for this experiment are: 1) to test whether a captive-bred
female would bond with a wild male, preferably one individual that had recently lost its
mate, and whose territory is close to the female's release site; 2) to measure survival of a
captive-bred eagle released into the wild and study movement and dispersal patterns and
behavioral interactions with wild eagles; 3) to develop guidelines for reintroducing
endangered tropical raptors into the wild; and 4) to increase knowledge that contributes to
ono'" the conservation goals of our reintroduction and restoration programs.

I asked ner: w ny dian t you draw a away, Kelvin
beautiful forest?" She responded: claimed: "No
"because I know that the Harpies Just as with
ike areas like this, too. I drew the vin's picture
area around my grandfather's farm, Kelvin explai
where I saw Harpy Eagles several to draw a
times and even possible prey spe- around La A
ies such as monkeys." She also drew a moun
exclaimed: "my grandfather doesn't like to live th
kill Harpy Eagles, because they pro- his drawing a
tect and control plagues in our cul- he drew two
tivations, such as zuzumas (Coatis) heard in a cc
and bichichi (Geofrroy's Tamarin)." pono, the ea
Rosa Amalia took the opportunity a mate, and
to give us an educational talk on one. Kelvin
why we should conserve the Harpy Harpy Eagle,
Eagle. In a few minutes this little be happy tog
girl explained in colloquial and sim- the mountain
ple words some basic concepts of I asked: "K
habitat use, diet, and positive mutu- Harpy Eagles
alism interactions between human strong and s
and eagles. Rosa's perception out: "I don'
about Harpy Eagles is the result of field, but I k
personal experiences and an ex- cause Kathiz
hange of cultural knowledge with your team ga
her parents. Looking more closely eos in our co
at Rosa Amalia's drawing, I asked about them.
her: "Why does your Harpy Eagle these words.
have small legs?" She smiled inno- age us to coi
ently and said: "Because, with At this mo
small legs Nepono can hold tight in "thank you
the branches of the tree." Right words."

.~~~~ |te y*.

Ke Cunana


a Doy or 12 year old ex-
w, Me...!"
Rosa Amalia's drawing, Kel-
also doesn't include forest.
ned that he didn't have time
pretty forest, as we find
area community. But, he
tain, because "Harpy Eagles
ere." He gave details about
nd mentioned the fact that
Harpy Eagles because he
)mmunity meeting that Ne-
gle of PanamA, doesn't have
came to La Marea to find
drew a picture of a lonely
which comes to Darien to
ether with other Harpies in

elvin, have you seen wild
*?" He said "no," but with a
ecure voice, Kelvin called
t see Harpy Eagles in the
now a lot about them, be-
i, Saskia, Marta, you and
ve talks and presented vid-
mmunities, and I learned all J
I will remember forever
Examples like this encour-_1
ntinue working in the field. t
nent, I smiled, and said: i
rery much Kelvin for your s







ry I-

Jose Vargas talking with the children
From La Marea about Harpy Eagles
Then, Liofano whispered "Who is
he author of this amazing draw-
ng?" Then, Reinaldo stood up, and
aid, "It's mine!." Reinaldo is a 10
ear old boy from La Marea. His
[rawing was elaborate, with very
ontrasting colors. This boy drew a
larpy Eagle hunting an armadillo.
is he talked about his drawing he
aid: "my mother told us every day
barriga llena, coraz6n contento"
vhich mean: "full stomach, happy
leart"... so then, if Nepono can
ind good prey in this forest in La
M[area, she will be here forever."
Everyone in this activity enjoyed
&einaldo's short, interesting and
nnocent description of the life of a
larpy Eagle.
iofano and I had a lot of fun lis-
ening to the children's stories.. We
earned a lot from them and they, in
urn, had an unusual afternoon...

they didn't swim in the river, or play soccer, or go out to work with their fathers... this afternoon they spent teach-
ing us about their perception of nature.
We conclude that Nepono is a Harpy Eagle of La Marea... she is happy because she has a lot of prey to hunt, like
monkeys and sloths; she is happy in the forest of La Marea because there are other eagles in this ecosystem; Ne-
pono likes to inhabit the mountain, and that sometimes she visits disturbed forests to hunt animals that can be
harmful to our crops. But no one said it better than Muzula, a 3 year old, girl when she exclaimed "It is our Na-
tional Bird, then we need to take care of her."
Note: If you want to follow what is happening with Nepono visit: http://www.peregrinefund.org/
notes category.asp?category=Harpy%20Eagle%20Field%20Studies%20in%20Darien

Compiled by Lloyd Kiff, The Peregrine Fund, Ikiff@peregrinefund.org

1. One book project is the Field Guide to the
Raptors of Mexico and Central America being
written by Bill Clark and illustrated by John
Schmitt. This volume will also be published by
Princeton University Press. The author is unques-
tionably the world's leading expert on raptor
identification, and he is the author of well re-
garded raptor field guides for North America and
S( the Palearctic. The artist prepared the plates for
the latter guide, as well as several for the National 4
Geographic field guide to North American birds.
It is a much anticipated guide for the raptors in a
region that is visited frequently by birders from all
over the world. It should be of particular use to
the many volunteers participating in raptor migra-
tion monitoring at the standard sites in Mexico,
----- El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Panama, and others.
Falcon plate by J. Schmitt White-tailed Hawk plate by J. Schmitt
2. An important volume that may not have come to the attention of some Neotropical raptor researchers is
"Current raptor studies in Mexico," edited by Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez-Estrella and published by the Centro de
Investigaciones Biol6gicas del Noroeste, S.C. and CONABIO in 2006. This book contains 15 papers on diurnal
raptors and owls, including several particularly valuable reviews of their status and state of knowledge in Mexico.
Among these, the comprehensive review by Paula Enriquez, David Johnson, and Jos6 Rangel-Salazar on
"Taxonomy, distribution, and conservation of owls in the Neotropics: a review" will be of general interest to all
Neotropical raptor enthusiasts. Clearly, Mexico has one of the most active raptor research communities among
Western Hemisphere countries, and Dr. Rodriguez-Estrella is to be commended for organizing and editing this
fine production. Inquiries about its availability can be directed to him at estrella04@cibnor.mx.
3. Sergio Seipke, of the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in Argentina, is working steadily to complete "Raptors
of South America," a field guide which will be published by Princeton University Press in their "Princeton Field
Guide" series. Hawk Mountain Sanctuary is the Conservation Sponsor of the project, and several private donors
are also helping sponsor the preparation of the guide. Sergio will be the sole author, Frederick Pallinger (SAo Paulo,
Brazil) is the artist, and Dario Podesta (Puerto Madryn, Argentina) is the collaborating photographer. Keith Bild-
stein is overseeing the project and coordinating the fund raising. This will be the first field guide focusing specifi-
cally on the raptor species of South America.

Page 1' Nc1vslettcr #7

were studied, which gained valuable
information on nesting, diet and
movement patterns, but not enough
to make any population estimates
(Funes et. al. 1992). Other than the
Maya Project only a few nests have
been recorded throughout the
Black Hawk-Eagle's global range
and only one study has been con-
ducted on home range and move-
ment patterns (Smith 1970, Rangel-
Salazar and Enriquez-Rocha 1993,
Canuto 2008). The Black and White
Hawk-Eagle is the least known and
basic natural history information is
lacking, including identification of
juveniles and incubation periods. It
has never been studied extensively
and only two nests have been de-
scribed (Strauch 1975, Canuto

In February of 2009 Rick Malupo
and I monitored five hawk-eagle
nests in Belize, which included


three Ornate Hawk-Eagles, a possible
Black Hawk-Eagle and a Black and
White Hawk-Eagle. One of the three
Ornate Hawk-Eagle nests in Rio Bravo
Conservations and Management Area
(RBCMA) was active with the two inac-
tive nests consisting of a fallen nest and
an abandoned nest engulfed with a bro-
meliad and no individuals in the area.
The active nest consisted of a begging
juvenile still dependent on its parents in
an adjacent tree 65 m from the nest tree
with both adults present. We also lo-
cated a begging juvenile (BasicI), ap-
proximately 7 km away from any
known nest, that was most likely still
dependent on its parents. This area will
be searched in the future for an active
nest. While checking the Black Hawk-
Eagle we flushed an adult from a Co-
hune Palm approximately 200 m from
where a nest was observed in 2005. We
could not see any sign of a nest, but
when checked later that day we ob-
served a pair soaring overhead calling,
suggesting that a nest could be in the
40100mars"WT 7r7

area and courting had begun.

One of the two known Black and
White Hawk-Eagle nests in Belize
located on the Hidden Valley prop-
erty was checked for activity. On 22
February 2009 the female was ob-
served either brooding or incubat-
ing through a spotting scope ap-
proximately 2 km away from the
nest across a large valley. On 24
February Rick Romero observed a
single chick being fed by a parent.
An attempt to locate the nest on
foot was not successful as bad
weather made nest searching diffi-
cult. A second attempt to locate the
nest on foot on 14 May was suc-
cessful, but the juvenile was not
observed in the nest or around the
nest area. However a single adult
was observed perched in the nest
tree. Either the chick fledged or did
not survive to fledging. In the other
two hawk-eagle species fledging

Adult Spizactus ornatus at nest with young.

occurs at approximately 2.5 months
and the juvenile is dependent on the
parents up to a year while staying in
close vicinity to the nest, suggesting
that this nestling might not have
made it to fledging. This is only the
fourth nest to be observed of this
species throughout its entire range.

All nests will be continuously moni-
tored and next year we plan to start
radio tagging both adult and juve-
nile individuals of all three species
to determine home range, dispersal
patterns and foraging ecology. We
will also continue to search for ac-
tive nests by talking to local peoples
and surveying locations where
hawk-eagles have been sighted. For
more information visit the Belize
Raptor Research Institute website at
www.belizeraptorresearch.org or if
you know of any hawk-eagle nests
in the region please email me at har-

Spizaetus melanoleucus nest


MISSION- Help protect neotropical raptors in the northern Central
America region through the sound science approach, while striving to
learn about raptors in the wild through extensive field research, and
educating the local and international public about raptor conservation.


* Better understand neotropical raptors through sound science, so better management decisions can be
* Provide education outreach throughout Belize and the region
* Train future conservationists and raptor biologists in field research techniques
* Provide volunteer and internship opportunities for national and international students
* Partner up with local and international conservation groups
* Help protect raptors in the wild through education and research



Fondo Peregrino -_Panama

25th INTERNATIONAL ORNITHOLOGICAL CONFERENCE August 22-28, 2010.Campos do Jordao,
Sao Paolo, Brazil. For more information visit: http://www.ib.usp.br/25ioc/

IX NEOTROPICAL ORNITHOLOGICAL CONFERENCE 2011, Peru. For more information visit:

The NRN is a membership-based organization. Its goal is to aid the
research and conservation of Neotropical raptors by promoting com-
munication and collaboration among biologists, ornithologists, raptor
enthusiasts, and other conservationists working in the Neotropics.

To join the NRN please send an email to mcurti@fondoperegrino.org,
introducing yourself and stating your interest in Neotropical raptor
research and conservation.

Articles were edited and/or translated by Saskia Santamaria, Angel Muela Yereay Seminario, Jose Vargas and Marta Curti
NRN Coordinator: Marta Curti mcurti@fondoperegrino.org

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