Hawks

Cooper’s Hawk

A medium-sized accipiter, it is always larger than the similarly feathered Sharp-shinned hawk. Identification in the field, however, is difficult. The Cooper’s hawk is considerably smaller than the Goshawk; however, the juvenile Goshawk has…

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Ferruginous Hawk

As the 'royal' Latin name suggests, this is the largest and heaviest hawk in North America. The Ferruginous Hawk is about midway in size between other buteo hawks and the Golden Eagle, which it resembles in body shape, diet, flight, and nesting…

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Northern Goshawk

The largest of the forest hawks and is considered to be "rare to uncommon" over most of its range. It is the least size dimorphic of the accipiters and the smallest male goshawk, in juvenile plumage, can be difficult to distinguish from a large…

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Northern Harrier

A slender, graceful raptor of the open country with long legs, long wings, a long tail, and a dark-hooded, owl-like face. Females are larger than males, and the adult plumages of the two sexes are very different. Females are brown above, buffy…

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Red-shouldered Hawk

A medium sized buteo (soaring) hawk, the red-shouldered hawk is noticeably smaller than the more common red-tailed hawk. With strikingly barred black and white tail and wings, and chestnut chest and back, this hawk is relatively easy to identify.…

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Red-tailed Hawk

A large, stocky hawk with broad and fairly rounded wings, and a wingspan of about 4 ft. Plumage is extremely variable in pattern and amount of dark; at least 4 light morph (variety) and 3 dark morph subgroups have been identified, with color…

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Rough-legged Hawk

A large, long-winged, long-tailed hawk; females are larger than males. The Latin name means "rabbit-footed," as the legs are feathered completely down to the small yellow feet. The pattern and amount of dark is extremely variable in this species.…

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Sharp-shinned Hawk

The smallest of the North American accipiters, or forest hawks, the sharp-shinned had a reputation of being the enemy of all small birds before research made it clear that it has no deleterious effect on the populations of its prey species. With…

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Swainson’s Hawk

This is a large, slender hawk of the western plains. The Swainson's Hawk is close in size and shape to the more common Red-tailed Hawk, but has longer, narrower, more pointed wings, and a smaller bill and feet. Three subgroups have been defined…

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