The Ornate Hawk-Eagle, a striking bird of prey, is native to the tropical forests of Central and South America. This medium-sized raptor is notable for its vivid and distinctive plumage. The upperparts are predominantly blackish, while the sides of the face and neck boast a rich chestnut hue. A standout feature is its white breast adorned with bold black barring. Juveniles present a marked contrast, with significantly more white or grey, especially around the face and neck, and all ages share a prominent and expressive head crest.
Known for its remarkable strength relative to its size, the Ornate Hawk-Eagle is an adept hunter, capable of taking prey items up to five times its own weight. Its diet mainly consists of other birds, reflecting its prowess as a skilled aerial predator.
Currently classified as Near Threatened, the Ornate Hawk-Eagle faces significant challenges due to habitat loss, primarily from ongoing deforestation. This loss of habitat not only threatens their existence but also impacts the delicate balance of the ecosystems they inhabit. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure the survival of this magnificent and powerful raptor.