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The Common Black Hawk is a medium-sized bird of prey, known for its striking appearance and unique habits. It is particularly found in Bisbee, Arizona, within the Mule Mountains region. This bird possesses a robust and sturdy body, measuring approximately 17 to 21 inches in length. Its wingspan is notable, extending up to 50 inches, providing it with an impressive presence in the sky.

Physical Characteristics

  • Feathers: The Common Black Hawk is predominantly black, featuring a rich, dark plumage that covers most of its body. The feathers often exhibit a subtle sheen in sunlight, enhancing its majestic appearance.

  • Tail: Its tail is short and broad, with a few distinctive white bands, creating a striking contrast against the black feathers.

  • Beak and Legs: The hawk's beak is hooked and powerful, suited for its carnivorous diet. The legs are yellow, providing a stark contrast to its dark body.

  • Eyes: The eyes are a deep brown, adding to its intense and focused look.


The Common Black Hawk in Bisbee, Arizona, thrives in the riparian zones along streams and rivers in the Mule Mountains. These environments provide ample food sources and nesting opportunities.

  • Nesting: Preferring tall trees for nesting, this hawk builds large nests made of sticks and twigs, often reused and added to each year.

  • Diet: Its diet primarily consists of small mammals, fish, and amphibians, taking advantage of the rich biodiversity in the riparian ecosystems.

Behavior and Lifestyle

Hunting and Diet

  • Hunting Style: This hawk is known for its patient hunting style, often waiting on a high perch before swooping down on its prey.

  • Feeding Habits: It feeds on a variety of prey, including fish, small mammals, and occasionally reptiles and insects.

Breeding and Offspring

  • Breeding Season: The breeding season for the Common Black Hawk in Bisbee typically begins in late winter or early spring.

  • Offspring: Females lay 1 to 3 eggs, which are incubated for about a month. Both parents participate in raising the young.


  • Seasonal Movements: While some populations of Common Black Hawks are migratory, the ones in Bisbee, Arizona, tend to be residents throughout the year, given the favorable climate and consistent food sources in the region.

Conservation Status

The Common Black Hawk is considered of Least Concern by the IUCN, but it is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In Arizona, its populations are monitored to ensure habitat preservation and protection from potential threats.

  • Threats: Habitat loss and pollution are the primary threats to this species.

  • Conservation Efforts: Local conservation efforts in Bisbee focus on protecting riparian habitats and ensuring clean water sources in the Mule Mountains area.

The Common Black Hawk is a symbol of the wild and natural beauty of the Mule Mountains in Bisbee, Arizona, playing a crucial role in the local ecosystem. Its presence is a reminder of the importance of conserving natural habitats for the continued survival of diverse wildlife species.

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