Capable of reaching speeds of 240 to 320 km/h when diving, this bird is a fast and fierce hunter. Most of its prey are ground mammals, such as foxes, rabbits, large rodents and sometimes carrion. Occasionally a large duck or heron will also be taken in midair.
Entirely dark brown plumage. Golden nape. Two pale tail bands. Heavily feathered legs with yellow feet. Golden band on upperwing coverts. Short, dark, hooked beak with yellow cere. Immature birds have a wide white tail band; white bases to outer secondaries and inner primaries. Sexes similar. 30 to 41 inches in length.
Mountain forests and open grasslands.
1-4 whitish eggs either unmarked or lightly speckled with brown. The eggs have a 43-45 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in 66-75 days. The nest is a large, bulky mass of sticks built on a rock ledge or in a tall tree. The nest is reused to year to year.
- Ramona (Corner of Hwy 67 and Highland Valley Rd)