This bird is found in humid tropical forests from southern Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula, to Trinidad and Tobago, south to Peru and Argentina. They are able to tolerate some degree of habitat fragmentation, breeding successfully near cities and in forest fragments as small as 200 ha (490 acres). Despite a slender build and a body weight no greater than a large Buteo hawk, the ornate hawk-eagle is a notably powerful predator which, like other booted eagles, can take prey up to five times its own weight. Birds are the principal prey. Prey items have ranged in size from 180 g (6. 3 oz) to 8 kg (18 lb) when taken. Prey species have included little blue herons, curassows, toucans, wood quail, pigeons, macaws, parrots, cotingas, chickens, and even a black vulture. Mammals are also significant prey, with agoutis, squirrels, rats, procyonids, and monkeys often taken. Reptiles are also occasionally hunted.