Skip to main content

 


HomeAccipiters

Sharp-shinned Hawk  (Accipiter striatus)

Description

  • Slate gray above, pale below with rust colored barring
  • Tail is squared in shape distinguishing it from the Cooper's Hawk

Size

  • Length: 10-14" (35-35 cm)
  • Wingspan: 21" (.5 m)  

Range

  • Forrests
  • North to the tree-line south to South Carolina and Alabama in the east, and in the west Nicaragua.
  • Winters north to Montana and New England

Diet

  • Small birds, rodents, and insects

Voice

  • "Kick-Kick-Kick"
  • Shrill squeal when begging for food

Nesting

  • Shallow platform of twigs 10-60 ft above ground
  • Lay 4 dull white eggs with brown blotches
  • Eggs incubate for 34-35 days and are tended by both parents

 


 

 

Cooper's Hawk  (Accipiter cooperii)

Description

  • Slate gray above, with fine rust barring below
  • Tail is rounded at tip, distinguishing it from the Sharp-shin Hawk

Size

  • Length: 14-20" (35-51 cm)
  • Wingspan: 28" (.7 m)

Range

  • Forests near meadows and clearings
  • Southern Canada and all of the United States south as far as Florida, Texas and north-western Mexico
  • Winters north to southern New England and British Columbia

Diet

  • Medium-sized birds: starlings, robins, blackbirds, meadowlarks
  • Chipmunks and squirrels

Voice

  • "Cack-cack-cack-cack"
  • Scream
  • Nestlings: "tsee-ar"

Nesting

  • Platform of sticks and twigs 10-60 ft above ground
  • Lay 4 dull white brown-spotted eggs tended by the female
  • Eggs incubate for 24 days
  • Fledgelings leave the nest at 30-34 days after hatching

 

 

 

Goshawk  (Accipiter gentilis)

Description

  • Dark blue back, black crown, pale underside barred with gray
  • White eyebrow streak is a distinguishing mark
  • Immatures are brown above and streaked below

Size

  • Length: 20-26" (51-66 cm)
  • Wingspan: 42" (1.1 m)

Range

  • Forrest, farmland, and woodland edges, though during winter can be seen in open country
  • Alaska, Northern Quebec, and Newfoundland south to New England, Michigan, and New Mexico with sparse populations from the Appalachians to Maryland.
  • Winters south to Virginia and Northern Mexico

Diet

  • Medium-sized birds and mammals

Voice

  • "Kak-Kak-Kak-Kak"
  • Scream that rises then descends in pitch

Nesting

  • Large platform of sticks lined with evergreen leaves in a tree 20-60 ft above ground
  • Lay 3-5 pale blue eggs
  • Eggs incubate for 36-38 days
  • Fledgelings leave the nest at 45 days after hatching