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Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus)
Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle (Spizaetus melanoleucus) monotypic
Hawks, Eagles and Kites (Accipitridae)
Yelapa, Cabo Corrientes, Jalisco (Jal), Mexico
Assuming two adults (notice the different tail patterns of the two birds). Seen from the top paragliding point, Yelapa Tapa, high above Yelapa, along the road toward the landside village of Chacala.
We had just arrived and were slowly getting our gear ready, when I suddenly spotted a strange raptor sailing by below the observation post. The hawk-eagle being a lifer, I wasn't aware of the upperside details, but knew that the combination of the white head and the brownish back and wings combined with the gray barred tail on this bird was unfamiliar, why I ran back to the car to get my camera, while shouting to Nancy that she should come now!
Back in position, of course the bird had disappeared, but a short while later a pale raptor came out above us, and being more familiar with the underside of this bird, I was instantly sure that we were looking at a Black-and-white Hawk-Eagle, the very same species we had come to look for! Thrilled beyond expectation we both started to shoot away with each our crappy 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Canon lens (out of focus photos), and when another bird suddenly showed up in the view-finder looking very similar to the first bird, we simply couldn't believe it, being sure that two birds have only rarely been seen together in this part of the country. The two birds only interacted a short while before both of them started to glide away into the Cabo Corrientes mountains.
Assuming they were a pair, Yelapa should be on the birding itinerary later this summer to look for any offspring!