Maymont Introduces Broad-Winged Hawk to Raptor Valley

Maymont's Broad-Winged Hawk


Release Date: October 25, 2017

A new female broad-winged hawk made its Maymont debut in September, joining the vultures, owls, and other hawks in Raptor Valley. The bird was donated to Maymont from a rehabber located in Warrenton, Virginia after being found in the road with head and eye trauma – likely the result of being hit by a car – and deemed non-releasable by veterinarians.

While it is already home to several hawk species, including the red-tailed hawk and the red shouldered hawk, Maymont is thrilled for Raptor Valley’s newest addition. Henry “Buz” Bireline, Maymont’s Director of Habitats and the Nature Center, said “This may be the first time a broad-winged hawk has been a part of the Maymont animal collection. She seems to be adapting very well to her new home.”

Adding to Buz’s excitement, Maymont’s Executive Director, Parke Richeson, said “Maymont provides a sanctuary for hundreds of native animals that are beloved by our guests. We’re honored to have strong partnerships with rehabilitation and care facilities that allow us to give these at-risk animals a home and make them available to the community.”

The broad-winged hawk, Buteo platypterus, is a stocky bird of prey that prefers living under the canopy in deep forest habitat where it hunts small mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates from the vantage point of a tree limb. Known to be a very vocal breed, these hawks are easily recognized by their call, which is a piercing, high pitched whistle with a short first note and a longer second note.

Most often seen in Virginia during their fall migration, broad-winged hawks migrate annually from North America to northern South America, traveling an average distance of 4,350 miles. To conserve energy and make their travel efforts efficient, the hawks will make their way south by soaring on warm air currents in what are known as “kettles,” joining thousands of other hawks in flight. They are the only raptors to migrate in such large flocks.

Guests can see the new broad-winged hawk at Maymont’s Raptor Valley exhibit, which is open to the public every day between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information, call 804-358-7166, ext. 310 or visit

Since 1975, Maymont has been maintained and operated by the private nonprofit Maymont Foundation. The Foundation must raise more than $3 million each year – more than 90% of its operating budget – through donations to keep the estate open to the public.

# # #

PDF Version

Please contact us for images, interviews and further information.