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Mangrove Black Hawk (Buteogallus Anthracinus) Apex Raptor @ Lago Bay

Birds of Prey living at Lago Bay

The Mangrove Black Hawk (Buteogallus anthracinus subtilis) is a majestic raptor here at Lago Bay. During the first five years of Lago Bay's development, we didn't have any resident birds of prey. The Caracaras were the first to come on the scene. The common Caracara and his cousin, the Crested Caracara both took up residence after the lakes were created and stocked. Many of the food producing organic plants and trees attracted plenty of prey. Owls and falcons have come and gone. We had a family of Owls that lived next to the South Villa. Unfortunately their hollowed out tree eventually fell down in a storm. I haven't seen them since.

The Mangrove Black Hawks have been here for about six years now and are multiplying. Each year that they nest (there are two families now) they only produce one egg. They build large nests, usually in tall Espave or Panama trees and tend to their one offspring with good care.

Mangrove Black Hawk at Lago Bay

Physical Characteristics of the Mangrove Black Hawk

The adult Mangrove Black Hawk is about 20 inches long and weighs up to 3 pounds. They have very broad wings, and are mostly black with a touch of brown mixed in. Their short tail is black with a single broad white band and a white tip. These hawks have powerful yellow/orange legs and talons. Their beaks are also yellowish orange with a distinct black tip.

Language of the Buteogallus Anthracinus

The Mangrove Black Hawks call to each other with a distinct screeching. I looked it up on Wikipedia and apparently their piping is: 'spink-speenk-speenk-spink-spink-spink'. That's code for: 'Get out of the way...because I'm coming through'.

Mangrove Black Hawk at Lago Bay

In the video above, the Mangrove Black Hawk is snacking on a snake. The maintenance team here at Lago Bay have come to really love the company of this majestic predator. We flush out plenty of game while mowing and gardening. The birds of prey come flying in for easy hunting. Because many of the birds were born on site, they associate our equipment with a sort of symbiotic ally in their quest to satisfy their ravenous appetites. When the Black Hawks want their space in relation to other birds of prey...they get it. The Mangrove Black Hawk has established that they are at the top of the 'pecking order'.

Mangrove Black Hawk (Buteogallus Anthracinus)

Great Birds - Good Neighbors at Lago Bay

At Lago Bay, we are almost entirely organic. The years before I started the Lago Bay project the land was used for cattle and rice cultivation. Most people would assume that agricultural activity would have less of an environmental footprint regarding flora and fauna as opposed to a neighborhood development. Given the chemicals used in rice cultivation and the nature of cattle and pasture needed for ranching...that assumption would be incorrect. Lago Bay's wildlife has increased over twenty fold since 2006 (project inception). Because the infrastructure includes lakes stocked with fish and a wide variety of organic food producing trees and plants (permaculture), Lago Bay has attracted an incredible amount of wildlife. The Black Mangrove Hawk is a good example.

Mangrove Black Hawk (Buteogallus Anthracinus) eating a snake.

Mangrove Black Hawk at Lago Bay

Saludos from Lago Bay!


Fly from Albrook to Lago Bay?  Continue on to Bocas?  Find out which Charter option is best for your group.

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The drive from Panama City to Lago Bay is approximately 6 hours.  A chartered plane takes about 45 minutes. 

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