Types Of Hawks



The Top 5 Types of Hawks


Eagles, owls and falcons are all fall into the hawk category and they are all different types of hawks. These birds by definition are all birds of prey. This means that they are included in the eco system food chain and that they hunt or scavenge for food. Although these birds look similar, they way they hunt and live can be quite different.


There are five main types of hawks. They all perform different tasks and populate different areas.


Buteo lineatus or the red shouldered hawk can be found in the Nearctic areas. They populate the lower half of Canada and live throughout much of the United States. Every year in winter they are also known to migrate to Mexico for the warmer weather. These types of hawks have a large body, a wide wing span and a large tail. The females of this species grow bigger then the males and can reach up to 24 inches long with a wing span of around 40 inches. They live in heavily wooded areas and swamps. They have distinctive deep reddish wing tints that make them appear to have red shoulders. This is how they got their name. They make their nests in tree tops to observe their prey and they live on small mammals like rabbits, squirrels, snakes and frogs.


Accipiter hawks are also found in southern Canada and throughout the United states. They are found in heavily wooded areas. They are thinner types of hawks and have a shorter wing span and longer tail for balance and maneuvering. The females of these species grow larger then the males and they also hunt for smaller type mammals. They have very long legs and talons to snag and capture their prey.


The red tailed hawk has a similar shape as a buteo hawk and can be found all over Canada and the United states. The females again out weigh the males and when they are full grown at distance they resemble an eagle. But their hunting methods differ from other types of hawks. Instead of observing prey form a tree, they fly around in circles over land areas of land to spot their prey. They can also be seen sitting on top of telephone poles or fence posts scanning the area for small mammals to eat. Unlike other birds who migrate to Mexico for the winter, these birds stay within the United States and Canada.


The northern Goshawk is possibly the largest type of hawk in the United States. They live in southern Canada but migrate down to the southern sections of the United States for the winter. They are known as one of the fiercest hawks and can be very territorial when it comes to their nest and area. They will chase any prey for an extremely long time until the prey has either tired or moved to an area where it can be easily captured. They can grow up to 25 inches and are a blue grey and white color.


The broad winged hawk likes a warmer climate. It lives on the eastern side of the United States and spends its winters in South America. They like to live in tropical type forests and live on large insects, lizards and amphibians. Both sexes can reach up to 17 inches long and this bird has a wing span of approximately 40 inches. Because these types of hawks prefer a warmer climate they have been known to travel 70 miles a day until they reach a warmer destination. Once they reach their final destination they rarely wonder off anywhere over a few miles.