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Diet of Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus)

Fagner Daniel Teixeira, Elisa Paraíso Mesquita, Michele Alves Ferreira, Felipe De Carvalho Araújo


The Ornate Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus) is a top predator and inhabits mainly preserved forests. It occurs from Mexico to Argentina and throughout Brazil, where it is threatened by extinction. It hunts birds, mammals and reptiles, picking up both on the ground and on the branches in the forest. Here we report data on a pair and one young individual of this species registered in the southeast of Minas Gerais state, eastern portion of the Espinhaço Range, Brazil. In addition, a literature review on the diet of the species was carried out aiming gather data on food habits. The nesting territory, as well as the nest was discovered in semi-deciduous seasonal forest area. We recorded predation of a Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture (Cathartes burrovianus) by the young. After two days of observation, the nest was overthrown, what allowed its screening for other food items discovered after analysis of some feathers and bones. Detailed records of predation of S. ornatus were non-existent or inaccurate. Taking together our own field observation and the literature review, we found 121 taxa consumed by S. ornatus. A total of 78 bird species were reported, mainly Galliformes, followed by medium-sized mammals (38 species), well represented by Rodentia and Primates.

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