Types of Hawks – Different types of Hawk facts

Naturalists have observed more than 20 different types of hawks that have been illustrated in this article. These are the common birds of prey and resembles very much with that of an eagle. Some species are even larger than eagles. These birds usually inhabits in North America, Central America, Argentine, Mexico and South America. They generally feed on small mammals, birds, insects and other tree living species.

Different types of Hawks

Broad-winged Hawk

The Broad-winged Hawk belongs to the family of Buteo platypterus. This is small specie and is endemic to the North America, British Columbia, and Texas. These birds migrate only in winter. Like other raptors, males are slightly smaller in size in comparison to the females. Unlike other species, the broad winged hawk has slightly shorter beak. The population of these birds is reported to have declined significantly during the recent years, even though it’s not considered to be an endangered species.

types of hawks - Broad-winged Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk

Interesting Facts about Broad-winged Hawk

  1. The length of the Broad-winged Hawk measures about 34 – 44 cm (13 – 17 in).
  2. These types of hawks weigh around 265 – 560 grams (9.3 – 20 oz).
  3. The wingspan is 81 – 100 cm (32 – 39 in).
  4. These birds are dark brown with a white belly.

Where do Broad-winged Hawks live?

  1. These birds normally breed in North America, South America, Canada, Brazil, Florida, and Caribbean.
  2. These birds travel more than 100 km per day whilst migrating.
  3. These are mostly found in areas with an elevation of 2,000 metres (6,600 feet).
  4. They usually construct their nests in woodlands and meadows.

What do Broad-winged Hawks Eat?

These species predominantly feed on small mammals including shrews, chipmunks, and voles, along with lizards, frogs, snakes, crabs, insects, and few birds. These types of birds drink water but occasionally.


types of hawks - Common Black Hawk
Common Black Hawk

Common Black Hawk

The Common Black Hawk belongs to the family of Buteogallus anthracinus. These types of hawks are relatively larger bird of prey as compared to the broad winged hawk. These birds are endemic to Central America, Venezuela, Peru, Trinidad, and Southwestern United States.

  1. These kinds of hawks usually prefer open air environment such as woodland.
  2. They are the migratory birds and they often travel to Mexico and Arizona.
  3. The length of the Common Black Hawk is about 43 – 53 cm (16 – 20 in).
  4. These hawks weigh around 930 grams.
  5. It has relatively a shorter tail.
  6. These birds have yellow legs, black wings, and black bill.
  7. Both males and females have similar plumage.
  8. These birds construct their nests more than hundred feet above the ground on a mangrove tree mostly.
  9. The females usually lay 1 – 3 eggs which are white with brown spotting.

What do Common Black Hawk Eat?

These types of hawks mainly feed on crabs, lizards, frogs and small vertebrates. Some are reported to have eaten eggs too.

types of hawks - Coopers Hawk
Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk

Coopers Hawk belongs to the family of Accipiter cooperii, and is a medium sized bird. These birds mainly inhabits in Canada, Mexico, and Mississippi River. Like other raptors, females are slightly larger as compared to males.

Interesting Coopers Hawk Facts

  1. The average size of an adult is about 220 – 440 grams (7.7 – 14.5 oz).
  2. These types of hawks are 35 – 46 cm (14 – 18 in) long.
  3. The average weight of the male measures about 330 – 680 grams (11.7 – 24 oz)
  4. The males are 42 – 50 cm (17 – 20 in) longer in size.
  5. The wingspan of these birds measures about 62 – 90 cm (25 – 36 in).
  6. Fully grown Cooper’s Hawk has red colored eyes.
  7. These hawks have pointed bills.

Coopers Hawk Habitat

These birds breed in Southern Canada and Mexico. They are found extensively in the deciduous forests, woodlands, woodlots, pinyon woodlands, open woodlands, and mountainous regions.

Coopers Hawk Feeding

  1. These birds predominantly prey on medium sized birds.
  2. Regular prey includes American Robins, Blue jay, woodpeckers, European starlings, cuckoos, doves, quail, pigeons, icterids, wood-warblers, pheasants, thrushes, American Kestrel, small raptors, hares, mice, rabbits, squirrels, bats, snakes, lizards, chipmunks, frogs, and small insects.

types of hawks - Crane Hawk
Crane Hawk

Crane Hawk

  1. The Crane Hawk is associated with the family of Geranospiza caerulescens.
  2. These birds are mostly found in Mexico, Panama, Hondrous, Guyana, Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Suriname, Nicaragua, Columbia, French Guiana, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Argentine.
  3. These types of birds mainly feed on tree frogs and bromeliads.



Ferruginous Hawk - Different types of hawks
Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk

The Ferruginous Hawk belongs to the family of ferruginous. This is a large bird of prey that has broad wings. Ferruginous Hawk inhabits in various parts of North America. This specie resembles too much with that of an eagle since it is a large sized hawk. Females are larger as compared to males.

  1. The length of these birds is 51 – 69 cm (20 – 27 inches).
  2. These hawks have a wingspan of about 120 – 150 cm (48 – 60 inches).
  3. The average length of these hawks measures around 140 cm (56 inches).
  4. Ferruginous Hawk weighs around 950 – 2300 grams (2.1 – 5 pounds).

Ferruginous Hawk Habitat

  1. Most of the Ferruginous Hawks are found in semiarid grasslands of North America.
  2. They do not make nests on the lofty areas; rather middle elevation is always preferred.
  3. They construct their nests in trees like willows, cottonwoods, and swamp oaks.
  4. These types of hawks usually avoid highly cultivated areas.
  5. These species are often in territorial conflict with Short eared owl, Great horned owl, Golden eagle, and Ravens.

Ferruginous Hawk Diet

  1. They predominantly feed on medium sized mammals, birds, reptiles, and small insects.
  2. More than 80% of the diet comprise of mammals.
  3. Small rodents include Richardson’s ground squirrel, antelope ground squirrel, prairie dog, voles, mice, and rats.
  4. Other birds include horned lark, ducks, chukar, short eared owl, burrowing owl, black-billed magpie and pheasants.
  5. These types of hawks are best known for their surprise attacks.


Grey Hawk - Different types of hawks
Grey Hawk

Grey Hawk

  1. The Grey Hawk is a family member of Buteo nitidus. These types of hawks breed in Mexico, Argentina, United States, Bolivia and Trinidad and Tobago.
  2. The length of these birds is about 46 – 61 cm (18 – 24 in).
  3. These species weigh around 475 grams (16.8 oz).
  4. It has a black tail and orange legs.

Grey Hawk Diet

Grey hawk mainly feed on lizards, snakes, small mammals, frogs, and birds.

Red tailed Hawk - types of hawks
Red tailed Hawk

Red tailed Hawk

  1. The Red-tailed Hawk belongs to the family of Buteo jamaicensis. These birds breed in the North America, Alaska, Canada, Panama, and West Indies.
  2. These birds of prey are known to be the largest member of the genus Buteo.
  3. Red tailed hawk weigh around 690 – 1600 grams (1-5 – 3-5 pounds).
  4. These birds are 45 – 65 cm (18 – 26 in) long.
  5. The wingspan measures about 110 – 145 cm (43 – 57 in).
  6. Like other raptors, females are larger and heavier than males.

Red tailed Hawk Habitat

  1. These birds usually cover a wide range of deserts, forests, tropical rainforests, coniferous forests, and agricultural fields. This specie has been given legal protection in Mexico, United States, and Canada.
  2. These species travel 20 – 40 mph (64 km/h); however, the diving speed exceeds 120 mph (190 km/h).

What do Red tailed Hawks Eat?

  1. Apart from carnivorous nature, these types of hawks are opportunistic birds.
  2. They predominantly feed on small mammals and other birds.
  3. Their diet includes mice, chipmunks, ground squirrels, voles, woodchunks, tree squirrels, beetles, bats, snakes, waterfowl, small insects, shrews, fish, crustaceans, and lagomorphs.
  4. These species take more than 135 grams (4 – 5 oz) of food daily.


Harris Hawk - types of hawks
Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk

The Harris Hawk belongs to the family of  Parabuteo unicinctus, and is a medium sized bird of prey. These types of hawks usually inhabits in Chile, Argentine, Southern United States, Western Europe and Britain. These birds have unique style hunting.

Interesting Harris Hawk Facts

  1. These birds are 46 – 76 cm (18 – 30 in) long.
  2. The wingspan measures about 1.1 m (3.6 feet).
  3. Females are 35% larger as compared to males.
  4. The average weight of harris hawk is 1,020 grams (36 oz).
  5. These birds have yellow legs and dark brown plumage.

Harris Hawk Habitat

These hawks construct their nests in woodlands, semi desert areas, marshes, mangrove swams.

They are not the migratory birds.

Harris Hawk Diet

These types of hawks generally feed on small mammals, lizards, large insects, birds, rabbits, and mice. They usually hunt in groups.

types of hawks - Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk

  1. The Red-shouldered Hawk is associated with the family of Buteo lineatus and generally breeds in North America and California and Mexico. These are the medium sized birds of prey.
  2. Red shouldered hawk weigh around 550 g (1.2 lb) (19 oz).
  3. The males are 43 – 58 cm (17 – 23 in) long.
  4. The wingspan of an adult male measures about 96 cm (38 in).
  5. Females are 48 – 61 cm (19 – 24 in) long.
  6. An adult female weigh around 700 g (25 oz), with the wingspan of 105 cm (41 in).
  7. These birds normally prey on small mammals, snakes, reptiles, amphibians, voles, mice, large insects, birds, lizards, and chipmunks.
  8. Unlike other species, they are the migrant birds.


Different types of hawks - Roadside Hawk
Roadside Hawk

Roadside Hawk

  1. The Roadside Hawk belongs to the family of Buteo magnirostris. Roadside hawk is comparatively a small bird of prey and is generally found in Latin America.
  2. The length of these birds is 31 – 41 cm (12 – 16 in).
  3. Roadside hawks weigh about 250 – 300 g (8.8 – 11 oz).
  4. Females are 20% larger than males.
  5. These types of birds usually inhabits in South America, Central America, and Andes Cordillera.
  6. They are also extensively found in Northern Caribbean and Argentine.
  7. They do not make their habitats in dense rainforests.
  8. These are the aggressive birds.

Roadside Hawk Diet

These birds predominantly feed on insects, small mammals, squamates, monkeys, birds, American Kestrel, and rabbits.

types of hawks - Rough-legged Buzzard
Rough-legged Buzzard

Rough-legged Buzzard

  1. The Rough-legged Buzzard is associated with the family of Buteo lagopus. This is a medium size bird of prey and is endemic to North America, Eurasia, Arctic regions.
  2. They migrate in winter season.
  3. They construct their nests on high cliffs or Rocky Mountains.
  4. The clutch size comprise of 3 – 5 eggs.
  5. They feed on small mammals, Kestrels, Osprey and Kites.
  6. The length of these birds is 48 – 60 cm (19 – 24 in).
  7. The wingspan measures about 120 – 153 cm (47 – 60 in).
  8. The weight of the red legged buzzard ranges from 600 to 1,800 grams (1.3 – 4.0 lb).
  9. These birds have a brown plumage.


These birds of prey breed in North America, Eurasia, Southern Europe, and Asia.


They feed on small rodents, marshes, and prairies.

These species regularly feed on pikas, voles, gerbils, lammings, small mammals, tree sparrow, dogs, ground squirrels, and weasels.


types of hawks - sharp-shinned hawk
sharp-shinned hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is associated with the Accipiter striatus family. These hawks are the smallest of all species that mainly breeds in USA and Canada.

Interesting Sharp-shinned Hawk Facts

  1. The length of the males measures about 24 – 30 cm (9.5 – 12 in).
  2. The wingspan of the sharp skinned hawk is 52 – 58 cm (20 – 23 in).
  3. These birds weigh around 87 – 114 grams (3.1 – 4.0 oz).
  4. Females are 29 – 37 cm (11.5 – 14.5 in) long, with the wingspan of 58 – 68 cm (23 – 27 in).
  5. The females weigh around 150 – 218 g (5.3 – 7.7 oz).

Sharp-shinned Hawk Habitat

These birds are extensively distributed to the North America, South America, Panama, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Sonora, El Salvador, Hondrous, Guatemala, Chiapas, Nicaragua, Columbia, Peru, Romania, Venezuela, Brazil, Tepuis, Bolivia, Argentine, Uruguay, Paraguay and Central America.

They build their nests in open areas like woodlands or broad-leaved trees, boreal forests.

Most of these species lives in tropical and temperate highlands with an altitude of 300 – 3,000 m (1000 – 10,000 feet).


These types of birds generally feed on small birds, songbirds, sparrows, finches, wrens, Anna’s hummingbird, tits, nuthatches, thrushes, American Robins, flickers, rodents, frogs, snakes, lizards, insects and wood-warblers.

Short-tailed Hawk - Different types of hawk facts
Short-tailed Hawk

Short-tailed Hawk

The Short-tailed Hawk belongs to the family of Buteo brachyurus and is a close relative of white throated hawk.

Interesting Short-tailed Hawk Facts

  1. Short-tailed Hawk is 40 cm (16 in) by length.
  2. The wingspan measures about 90 cm (35 in).
  3. The average weight of the males is 400 grams (14 oz).
  4. Females weigh around 500 grams (20 oz.)
  5. The clutch size comprise of 3 – 5 eggs.

Habitat and Distribution

  1. Short-tailed Hawk general resides in southern Brazil, Subtropical Americas, Argentine, Columbia, Mexico, Chile, Florida, and California.
  2. These types of hawks are normally found below 4,500 feet (2,000 m).
  3. They migrate to the southern America in winter.

Short-tailed Hawk Diet

These hawks predominantly feed on small insects, birds, warbler, frogs, lizards, large insects, small mammals, rodents, monkeys, sloths, and common marmosets.

types of hawks - Swainsons Hawk
Swainsons Hawk

Swainsons Hawk

  1. The Swainson’s Hawk belongs to the family of  Buteo swainsoni and is named after the British naturalist William Swainson.
  2. They generally breed in grasslands in North America.
  3. These birds are the migratory birds in that they often travel long distances.

Habitat and Distribution

Swainson’s Hawk usually inhabits in North America, South America, Alberta, Yukon, New Mexico, Nebraska, California, Lowa, Oregon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Kansas, Washington, Oklahoma, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Florida, Uruguay, Gulf of Mexico, Panama, Isthmus of Panama, Balboa, Columbia and Missouri.

Swainsons Hawk Diet

  1. They usually catch birds during their flight.
  2. These types of hawks predominantly feed on dragonflies, dobsonflies, free tailed bats, grasshoppers, crickets, small mammals, locusts, mallard ducks, sage, reptiles, and amphibians.

White-tailed Hawk - types of hawks
White-tailed Hawk

White-tailed Hawk

  1. The White-tailed Hawk is associated with the family of Buteo albicaudatus and is believed to be the large bird of prey. These species tend to live around tropical and subtropical forests.
  2. The length of the white tailed hawk is 53 – 58 cm (21 – 23 in).
  3. The wingspan measures around 1.2 meters (4 feet).

Habitat and Distribution

  1. These kinds of hawks can be easily found in Coastal areas of Texas, Argentine, and Caribbean Islands.
  2. They live in semi open areas with the height of 2,000 feet ( 600 m ).
  3. These are not the migratory birds.
  4. They are not the endangered species.

White-tailed Hawk Diet

These birds of prey feed on rabbits, rats, mice, voles, lizards, cotton rats, snakes, frogs, grasshoppers, birds, quails, beetles, chickens, and small insects.


Different types of hawks - Zone-tailed Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk

Zone-tailed Hawk

  1. The Zone-tailed Hawk belings to the family of Buteo albonotatus. This is a medium sized bird and it generally feeds on small vertebrates.
  2. These types of hawks are 47 – 55 cm (18.5 – 21.5 in) long.
  3. The wingspan measures about 1.2 m (4 ft).
  4. These hawks weigh around 810 grams (1.8 lb).
  5. These species resembles too much to that of Turkey Vulture.
  6. These birds are generally found in New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentine.

Northern Harrier - types of hawks
Northern Harrier

Northern Harrier

  1. The Northern Harrier belongs to the family of Circus cyaneus and is generally found in Canada and United States. This specie is also known as the Hen Harrier.
  2. In winter, these birds tend to migrate to the southern regions.
  3. The Northern Harrier measures 43 – 52 cm (17 – 20 in) in length.
  4. The wingspan of these species is around 97 – 118 cm (38 – 46 in).
  5. Males have an average weight of 350 g (12 oz), whereas females weigh around 530 g (19 oz).
  6. The females lay 4 – 6 pure white eggs.
  7. They feed on small mammals and birds.

More Amazing Facts about Hawk




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