Sunday, September 21, 2014

Taima the Seattle Seahawk and the Genus Buteo

For those of you who watching the Broncos/Seahawks game right now, you might have noticed clips of a random bird of prey flying around which, if you're anything like me, that was the highlight of the entire game.  Named Taima, the bird is the mascot for the Seattle Seahawks football team, an augur hawk (Buteo rufofuscus).  Although sometimes referred to as the augur buzzard, I prefer the name augur hawk, as buzzard is sometimes a bit of a confusing name.*  According to the Seahawks website, Taima has been the "first one out of the tunnel" prior to every game.**  The augur hawk is one of the most common hawks in Africa, and inhabits an enormous portion of the eastern and central part of the continent.  Open plains, grasslands, and forests are the augur's preferred habitat, fairly similar to its close North American cousin, the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jaimaicensis).

The broad-winged hawk (Buteo platypterus) is one of the smallest members of the genus, and a hawk that's involved in a very interesting new project, the aptly named "Broad-Winged Hawk Project."  Similar in many ways to the OCEARCH shark tracking project, the BWHP is using satellite telemetry technology to track broad-winged hawks on their migration from Pennsylvania, all the way down to Central and South America.  You can join in the tracking fun by clicking on the link HERE!  Several of the nestling broad-wings were from pretty close to where my friend Zach Evens's cabin in Pennsylvania was that we visited in August!

There are a ton of other hawks in the genus Buteo besides the red-tail, augur, and broad-wing, several of which we've talked about here on the blog, such as the red-shouldered hawk (B. lineatus), rough-legged hawk (B. lagopus), and the Swainson's hawk (B. swainsoni).
A rough-legged hawk on the hand of Anne Price, the Curator of Raptors for the Raptor Education Foundation at one of the raptor shows at the Best Western Denver Southwest!
*In the Americas, a buzzard typically refers to a vulture, while in the Old World, buzzard is often attributed to members of the genus Buteo, of which the augur hawk is a member.  We Americans tend to refer to buteos simply as hawks, which is part of what can lead to this confusion.

**For those of you not in the know, the tunnel is not a metaphorical tunnel, and instead refers to a legit tunnel that leads from the locker room onto the stadium.

Works Cited:

Augur Buzzard. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Buteos. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Buteos. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

New study shares movements of migrating hawks. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Species. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from

Taima the Hawk. (n.d.). Retrieved September 21, 2014, from


  1. Hi, I have really enjoyed reading your blog and was wondering if you would be interested in a guest blog opportunity. Please let me know and keep up the great work!

  2. I would definitely be interested! Go ahead and shoot me an email at and we can hammer out the details!


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