Rupornis magnirostris, an old world term for the Roadside Hawk is the most common bird seen in Central and South America. Molecular evidence recently reclaimed the hawk in the monophyletic group of Buteo, the distinguished name for buzzards (Amaral, 2009). Magnirostris refers to its large beak needed for it general omnivorous diet. Single or paired individuals are common along roadsides, as their name implies, perched on light post or tall trees. Roadside hawks can also be found in second growth forests, open shrub lands, pastures, or forest outskirts. Still-hunting from an aerial perch is displayed to capture mostly amphibians and lizards, but also small mammals such as bats, birds, squirrels, and mice (Panasci and Whitacre, 2000). Ground-hunting is performed to capture insects including Orthoptera, Arachnoidae, and Hymenoptera (Haverschmidt, 1962).
Typically, the roadside hawk is stationary and solitary. However, it is extremely territorial. Piercing vocalizations are a common form of communication. When nests are being guarded, distinct calls and flying patterns are observed as well as during mating times. The bird is small in size reaching 33-41 cm in length and 250 to 300 grams in weight (Haverschmidt, 1962).The body is mostly grey colored with a yellow banded tail and clustered bands throughout its chest. Males and females display the same coloration but differ in size with the male being smaller (Rodriguez-Flores and Arizmendi, 2010). Nests are built from twigs and leaves in tall trees. Average nests dimensions are about 34.7 cm in length and 26.3 cm in width inhabiting one to two eggs on average for about four to six weeks (Rodriguez-Flores and Arizmendi, 2010).
: Shannon Insley