The Short-tailed Hawk is a small hawk, only being about 17 inches long. It is rare in the North American Continent; only found in Florida and from central Mexico to Panama. The Short-tail is rare, even for a raptor. However, it is not protected by the Endangered Species Act in the United States.
The Short-tailed Hawk is also called the little Black Hawk, for its black color phase. A Short-tail in the dark color phase is dark brownish black or dark brown all over, excluding the white forehead and occasional white spot on underneath, grey underside of the tail and the grey barring of the tail. In light phase, the top side of the Short-tail is grey or grey black. The undersides are uniform white except for brown patches on the sides of the breast. The tail is barred black and grey and has a white tip. Immatures in light phase have white spotted with brown on the undersides. See Notes- Color Phases
Short-tailed Hawks prefer wooded swamps and wetlands. Nests are built in cypress trees out of cypress twigs and dried moss. 1 to 3 eggs are laid, pale blue. They may be spotted, but generally are not. Incubation periods and egg laying dates are not known.
Short-tailed Hawks primarily feed on small birds. Not much is known about this swamp-dwelling bird.