Grey-lined Hawk Buteo nitidus


Justification of Red List Category
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (extent of occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations).The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

Population justification
Described in parts of very large range as locally common and tolerant of open and secondary forest; typically absent from closed humid forest. Population likely to be large (Ferguson-Lees & Christie 2001).

Trend justification
This species is suspected to lose 21.3-28.7% of suitable habitat within its distribution over three generations (22 years) based on a model of Amazonian deforestation (Soares-Filho et al. 2006, Bird et al. 2011). It is suspected to decline by <25% over three generations as it is not highly forest-dependent, favouring open country and forest edges.

Distribution and population

This species has a large range from Central America to Amazonia and south into Argentina. Occurs from southwest Costa Rica south through Panama and Colombia to west Ecuador on the west of the Andes and on the east of the Andes from east Colombia, Venezuela and Guianas through east Ecuador, northeast Peru and much of Brazil to north and east Bolivia, Paraguay and north Argentina. The species is also found on Trinidad.


Occurs in very wide variety of forest habitats from gallery and open woodland through to fairly open savannah with clumps of trees but is not typically found in dense humid forest. Found from sea level up to 800 m, occasionally as high as 1,300 m. Feeds on reptiles, amphibians, insects, small mammals and birds.


38-46 cm. A small pale grey hawk with fairly broad wings, extensively barred dark grey. The tail has a single solid black sub-terminal band. Fast flapping flight with short glides, soars on flat wings. Voice. A high, clear, drawn out disyllabic whistle.


Text account compilers
Bird, J., Butchart, S. & Martin, R

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2019) Species factsheet: Buteo nitidus. Downloaded from on 16/10/2019. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2019) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 16/10/2019.