Birda Logo
Species Guide

White-breasted Hawk

Accipiter chionogaster

The White-breasted Hawk, Accipiter chionogaster, is a diminutive raptor, a master of the skies in its highland realm. Males, the smaller sex, range from 23 to 30 cm in length, flaunting a wingspan of 42 to 58 cm and tipping the scales at a mere 82 to 115 grams. Females, true to the Accipiter form, are substantially larger, about 30% longer and more than 50% heavier, measuring 29 to 37 cm, with a wingspan of 58 to 68 cm and a weight of 150 to 219 grams. Both sexes possess short, broad wings and a medium-length tail adorned with bands of blackish and gray. Their legs are long, slender, and yellow, complementing a hooked black bill with a yellowish cere.

Identification Tips

Adult White-breasted Hawks are characterized by their darker upperparts, which may appear almost black, and their distinctive white underparts and cheeks. The thighs are a whitish-buff, setting them apart from their relatives. Juveniles exhibit darker upperparts and finer streaking below compared to their northern counterparts. In flight, one may observe the remiges, which are whitish barred with blackish.


These hawks favor the highlands, making their homes in pine and pine-oak forests, and are known to venture into neighboring cloud forests, tropical dry forests, and farmlands. They thrive at elevations ranging from 300 to 3,000 meters.


The White-breasted Hawk's domain extends from the southern reaches of Mexico, through the heartlands of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, down to the verdant landscapes of Nicaragua. This species is generally sedentary, though some local movements have been noted.


The White-breasted Hawk is a stealthy predator, often ambushing its prey from cover or while swiftly navigating through dense vegetation. This hunting strategy, while effective, is not without its risks.

Diet and Feeding

These hawks primarily feast on small birds, such as wood-warblers, wrens, and thrushes. Males typically hunt smaller birds, while females may pursue larger quarry like doves. On rare occasions, they may supplement their diet with lizards, bats, and large insects. They are known to meticulously pluck the feathers from their prey before consumption.


The breeding habits of the White-breasted Hawk involve constructing a stick nest where they lay clutches of 2 to 4 eggs. The eggs are approximately 38 mm by 31 mm in size and weigh around 19 grams. Incubation is believed to last about 30 days, with the female brooding the young for 16 to 23 days post-hatching. The male plays a crucial role in defending the territory and providing food. Fledglings take their first flight at about one month of age and continue to depend on their parents for an additional four weeks.

Conservation Status

The White-breasted Hawk faces conservation challenges due to its limited range. However, in certain locales, it remains relatively common, a testament to the resilience of this remarkable bird of prey.

App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

More Kites, Hawks, Eagles

A photo of a Shikra (Accipiter badius)


Accipiter badius
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Fantastic App
This is a really lovely app, for everyone interested in birds - from newbies to old hands. There is a very friendly feel to the community and you will genuinely learn a lot as you record your sightings and photos. There are lots of badges and competitions to keep you engaged, and a host of really useful features.
Hip An
Really enjoying Birda where I live i have a lot of Red kites really hard to photograph but I can video are you planning some place on the app where us Birda can post vids🦉🦅
Erna M
I really like Birda
I really like Birda. I also use other birding apps and have Birda with E-bird going at the same time.
Recommend for any bird watcher
Very wholesome app: I joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😃
Carl B
Helped me to identify more birds
Love this app and has helped me to identify more birds. The challenges and badges are great for keeping the motivation going to get out and keep birding.
Loving it
I really enjoy being able to interact with other birders on this platform! This seems like a great way to meet other birders and find some new spots.
Bryan C
Clean and easy to use
Really enjoying this app, it's clean and easy to use. I love the ease of being able to add those one-off birds without starting a whole checklist. I also like the social aspect, like the parts of my Facebook I like, without the ads and junk, just birds. Can't wait to see it become more populated.
Great App
Great app to use for logging and communicating with others who are interested in birds
Nick S
Work together with community
Been loving using this app to log my bird sightings and work together with community members to identify different birds. I've already learned a lot since I started about a month ago!
As featured in
Birda Logo
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.