Description[ edit ] The upperside plumage is quite uniform This is a huge eagle-like " buzzard " "hawk" in American terminology. It is rather long- and broad-winged and the slightly tapering tail is short by comparison and colored black, with grey tips in fresh plumage. When perched, the wings cover the tail almost completely, giving the bird a unique near-tailess appearance when perched. The adult has a white underside, sometimes with fine blackish stripes; its upperparts are dark grey with a blackish, brownish or bluish hue. The feathers of the neck and the lowest dark feathers of the breast are somewhat elongated. Adults have an ash-grey-and-white zone on the wings, the silvery white seen clearly from afar.
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The species was previously assigned to the genus Buteo and even if having greater affinity with the genus Buteogallus and Leucopternis in respect to that it was belonging, has deserved the classification in a separate genus.
It frequents also the plain of southern Chile, in Argentina and in Tierra del Fuego where it live in different habitats: grassy hills, steppes, valleys, beech forests genus Nothofagus up to m of altitude in Chile. Morpho-physiology The Chilean blue eagle is about cm long with a weight of about g g , has a remarkable wingspan of cm. The wings are very long and ample, when the wings are closed, the tips intersect at X. For what the livery colouration is concerned, head, back and chest are slate grey-bluish with soot brown shades, the fore-throat is more nuanced of clear and the chest is more blackish and spotted of white.
After the dark chest, the rest of the ventral part is white and often but not always finely barred in dark. The shoulders are ash grey finely barred of black as the flight feathers which present, however, a little darker grey shades, the great coverts of the wings are even darker and form as sort of nuanced line by mid wing.
The sexes have similar colours but the females are decidedly bigger. The subspecies australis is smaller than the nominal and has always some bars on the white ventral part. The immature individuals have a brown-dark reddish colouration, do not have the shoulder barred in grey as the adults. They need some years before getting the plumage of the adult. The most hunted species are the Degu Octodon degus and the European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus.
It does not even disdain the carcasses. Seasonally, it predates also insects and, at times, snakes and lizards. It can even kill good sized preys such as the Grey fox Lycalopex and the Patagonian skunk Conepatus. This raptor is more active by mid morning and in the afternoon when the heat creates the ascending currents favourable for the flight.
In winter, it spends considerable time fluttering in pairs on the mountains and along the slopes for detecting, more easily, thanks to the scarce vegetation, the potential preys. This eagle often nidifies on the cliffs and the crags, often very high. In other zones, it nests on the tops of very high trees or, if these are not present, on cactuses. It adapts to nest also on low bushes or even on the ground. The nest, usually, has a diameter of cm. Sometimes, it reutilizes the old nests but much more frequently builds it new.
The pair performs courting flights and copulates for at least two weeks before laying. The brood is usually formed by two eggs and the incubation lasts about one month. The chicks come to life with a white down. The species is fairly common in its own distribution range. As it nourishes also of carrions, reaching the point to contend them to the large Andean condor Vultur gryphus , it may be victim of poisoned baits used for fighting the so-called harmful animals!
This species, seen the bright and intelligent behaviour, is utilized in falconry.