© Danny Bales
This often hard-to-find hawk breeds throughout central and south Florida in deciduous woodlands often located near water. This species can be seen all year in Florida, but they can be easier to find during the winter in the southern counties, particularly in Everglades National Park. From 10 a.m. onwards, between October and March, search the area around the Flamingo Visitor Center for soaring birds as they search for prey. Despite the name, the tail is not particularly short. Two color morphs are present in Florida, dark and light (the dark morph represents about 80 percent of the population in Florida). The current population estimate for this species in Florida is approximately 200 breeding pairs.
For more information, including a range map, visit whatBird.com's Field Guide to Birds of North America.
Recommended GFBWT sites:
- Curry Hammock State Park (winter)
- Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park (winter)
- Everglades National Park: Main Entrance, Gulf Coast Visitor Center and Shark Valley Visitor Center (winter)
- James E. Grey Preserve and Pithlachascotee River (summer)
- Lake Wales Ridge State Forest: Walk-in-the-Water Tract and Arbuckle Tract (summer)
Sawgrass Lake Park (summer)
In Florida, they nest in intact forests, often in freshwater swamps, while foraging in open areas, such as prairies and marshes.