16 Types of hawks in the World

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

Hawks are a group of medium-sized falconiform birds belonging to the family of Accipitridae. With more than 200 species across the globe, hawks are famous prey birds with a short, hooked beak, sharp claws, and very good eyesight. They have many techniques of foraging but the most typical in their pursuit of prey is raking, or swiftly following the animal’s efforts to escape. We will discuss the types of hawks in the world.

Hawks are widely distributed all over the world and come in all shapes and sizes, live in all sorts of habitats, and even eat widely different foods ranging from insects to reptiles to mammals. However, these Woodland birds are not harmful birds but they destroy poultry and smaller birds in search of their prey. Hawks are known for their sharp vision and hunting skills, so this article will introduce the top 16 types of hawks in the world.

Types of hawks

1. Broad-winged Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk is a small compact raptor with Chunky bodies and large reddish-brown heads. Belonging to the genus of Buteo, Broad-winged Hawk hunts the small animals from perchers underneath the forest canopy. They have a piercing hooting whistle on a single pitch and spend much of their time in the forest underneath the canopy. Also, these are migratory birds who soar along a coastline and mountain ridges in very large flocks.

Also Read: 12 Largest Eagles in the World By Wingspan & Length

Broad-winged Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk

2. Cooper’s Hawk

Feeding mostly on birds and small mammals, Cooper’s Hawk is medium-sized hawks in Wisconsin with relatively short rounded wings and rounded tails. Cooper’s Hawk is one of the three species of accipiters that are found in North America. Also, Cooper’s Hawk is Woodland hawks that prey mainly on birds and are one of the most agile forest-nesting raptors. this raptor is a cunning Predator and one of the most difficult birds of prey to identify. Cooper’s Hawk is commonly found in forest areas and also in yards and suburban areas.

Also Read: 10 Scavenger Birds In The World

Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk

3. Harris Hawk

Formerly known as a bay-winged hawk or dusky hawk, Harris Hawk is a large and lanky raptor with fairly long legs and long tails. These are common names found in sparse Woodland and semi-desert and marshes including mangrove swamps. Harris hawks are Brown overall with red chestnut, yellow long legs, and yellow markings on its face. These are non-migratory, social birds of North America that nest and hunt together in a team. However, it is important to note that the population of harris hawk is declining continuously due to habitat loss.

Harris Hawk
Harris Hawk

4. Red-shouldered Hawk

Listed as an endangered species, the Red-shouldered Hawk is one of the most distinctively marked common hawks. These are non-migratory birds wheeling over a swamp forest aur whistling plaintively from a riverine park. These are medium-sized birds with broad rounded wings and tails. Adult hawks are mostly dark with white checkered wings and warm reddish barring on the breast. Red-shouldered Hawk is commonly found in deciduous woodlands, often near rivers and swamps, and build their nests in the main crotch of a large tree.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk

5. Rough-legged Buzzard

Belonging to the family of Buteos, Rough-legged Buzzard is a large bird with broad wings and a long tail. This bird of prey is commonly found in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions of North America, Europe, and Russia. They are named so because the “Rough-legged” actually refers to the feathered legs all the way to the toes. Rough-legged Buzzard is a migratory bird whose nests are typically located on cliffs, bluffs, or in trees. They basically hunt over open land and feed primarily on small mammals.

Rough-legged Buzzard
Rough-legged Buzzard

6. Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk is commonly found throughout most of America, Alaska, and northern Canada. This bird of prey is relatively large in size with very broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail. It is one of the most commonly seen hawks in North America. These are found in a wide range of habitats including deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous forest agricultural fields, and even in urban areas. Also, they are most often Predators of small mammals such as rodents, birds, reptiles, fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.

Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

7. Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small long-tailed Hawk with short rounded wings and has small heads. The tail is square-tipped and demonstrates a notch at the tip. However, it is interesting to note that female hawks are considerably larger than male hawks. Also, these are agile fliers that typically perch on songbirds and capture most of their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. Moreover, Sharp-shinned Hawks are migratory birds finding their habitat in the deep forests.

Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sharp-shinned Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

8. Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous meaning rust-colored, Ferruginous Hawks are reddish-black and legs of light-morph birds. These are large Buteo hawks with large heads and relatively long narrow wings(forming more pointed tips). It is important to know that this bird of prey is the largest Hawk in the world. Also, ferruginous Hawk is often mistaken for an eagle due to its size, proportions, and behavior. They are endemic to North America and live in open, arid grasslands, prairies, and shrub-steppe countries.

Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk

9. Common Black Hawk

Common Black hawks are popular as black birds with yellow beaks inhabitants of the tropical Americas that reach the United States in Southern Arizona and New Mexico. This bird of prey is aptly named as it is entirely Black Hawk with broad wings, a short tail and with a distinct white band, and a white tip. these birds are commonly found in lowland areas, mangrove swamps, estuaries, and dry open Woodland. Also, these raptors specifically feed on crabs, crayfish, and other aquatic food.

Also Read: Top 10 Long Neck Animals In The World

Common Black Hawk
Common Black Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Swainson’s Hawk

Named after William Swainson, a British naturalist, Swainson’s hawks are popularly known as grasshopper Hawk or locust hawk. This is so because they are very fond of Acrididae and eat insects voraciously whenever available. These are beautiful raptors with elegant grey, white and brown bodies. Swainson’s Hawks are 18 to 22 inches in length and have a wingspan of four feet. Also, this gregarious bird species feed mostly on small mammals and reptiles, insects, etc. It is a migratory bird and travels in large flocks sometimes numbering in the thousands. It is one of the most beautiful types of hawks in the world.

Swainson's Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

11. Rough-Legged Hawk

Rough-Legged Hawk is an amazing raptor species that belongs to the genus Buteo. The species prey on small rodents and mammals. It can grow upto 18.5-20.5 inches and weighs approximately 1.5-3 lb. Rough-Legged Hawk loves to thrive in marshes, croplands, grasslands, coastal prairies, tundra escarpments, and arctic coasts. It is also known as the Rough-legged buzzard and is mostly seen in the Arctic and Subarctic regions of North America, Europe, and Russia. The avarage lifespan of the hawk species is 19 years in the wild.

Rough-Legged Hawk
Rough-Legged Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

12. Rufous Crab Hawk

The Rufous Crab Hawk scientifically known as Buteogallus aequinoctialis belongs to the family Accipitridae. It is mostly seen in the regions of the South American coastline, from eastern Venezuela, Trinidad, and Tobago to southern Brazil. Talking about the appearance, it has a dark brown body and comes with a rufous belly and yellow feet. The hawk species loves to thrive in subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and tropical mangrove forests.

Rufous Crab Hawk
Rufous Crab Hawk

13. Northern Goshawk

Northern Goshawk is a bird of prey that belongs to the family of eagles. As of now, 10 subspecies of northern goshawk are known to humans seen in the regions of North America, Europe and Asia. It can grow upto 18 to 27 inches in length and 1.1 to 4.85 pounds of weight. It is a diurnal animal that is active during the day. The avarage lifespan of bird species is 19 years in the wild. These bird species are very aggressive in nature and are capable of taking care of chicks.

Northern Goshawk
Northern Goshawk

14. African Harrier Hawk

African Harrier Hawk is a greyish color hawk species that can grow upto 23.6–25.9 inches in length. Talking about the appearance, it is a yellow-orange face and comes with beaks of long yellow feet, however, the underpants are all white with black barring that gives it a look of pigeon from a distance. The male species of African Harrier Hawk is known as tercel and the female of this species is called a hen. The chicks of the hawk species are known as eyas and also known as baby hawks.

African Harrier Hawk
African Harrier Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

15. Ridgway’s Hawk

Ridgway’s Hawk species scientifically known as Buteo ridgwayi is also a bird of prey that belongs to the family Accipitridae. The hawk species is endemic to the island of Hispaniola that including both Haiti and the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean region. Ridgway’s Hawk is named in honor of the ornithologist Robert Ridgway. The hawk species primarily feeds on rodents, bats, centipedes, birds, anoles, skinks, frogs, and snakes. It is one of the most beautiful types of hawks in the world.

Ridgway's Hawk
Ridgway’s Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

16. Hawaiian Hawk

One of the types of hawks, Hawaiian Hawk is scientifically known as Buteo solitarius belongs to the genus Buteo and the species is endemic to Hawaii. It can grow upto 40 to 46 centimeters (16 to 18 in) in length and wieght wise females is larger than the males. The females species avarage wieght is 605 g (21.3 oz) and male species avarage wieght is 441 g (15.6 oz). This hawk species is a royal symbol in Hawaiian legend and sometimes it is known as ʻiolani (“exalted hawk”). The avarage lifespan of the hawk species is 7 years in the wild and 21 years in captivity.

Hawaiian Hawk
Hawaiian Hawk

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the 16 types of hawks in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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