Hawks of New York State

Species Habitat Diet Nest Eggs Hunting Technique General Information
Northern Harrier open fields and marshes voles, snakes, frogs, insects, carrion sticks, grass on elevated ground 5 bluish-white, usually unmarked cruising flights over open grassland high nest predation
long wings, long tail, low cruising flights
Sharp-shinned Hawk young woodland birds, rarely rodents, frogs, insects stick nest lined with evergreens 4-5 white marked with browns perches on tree branches, then dashes after prey

our smallest accipiter, short, rounded wings and long tail

Cooper's Hawk woodland mostly birds and small mammals stick nest lined with evergreens 4-5 bluish-white spotted with browns low dash through woods short rounded wing and long tail,
often perches on fence posts, "chicken hawk"
Northern Goshawk mature woodlands mostly ground birds, some small mammals stick nest lined with evergreens 3-4 bluish-white low patrols in woodlands fairly pointed wings and long broad tail, the largest of our accipiters
Red-shouldered Hawk wooded streams and swamps rodents, snakes, lizards, insects, birds stick nest with green leaves 3 white with brown spots, asynchronous* soaring and "sit and wait" hunting style

broad wing and tail shape with "fingertips" on wings,
winters in southern U.S.

Broad-winged Hawk open woodlands rodents, snakes, insects, young birds sticks, twigs, dead leaves, and green leaves 2-3 white with brown spots, asynchronous* "sit and wait" and then swoops winters in Central and South America,
form large kettles
Red-tailed Hawk edges of forest and meadows rodents, reptiles, birds, insects, carrion sticks, twigs, lining bark and green leaves 2-3 white, or brown spotted, asynchronous* soaring and "sit and wait" hunting style first year lacks red tail and it usually migrates below snow belt
Rough-legged Hawk tundra and open coniferous forest rodents, insects, birds and carrion sticks, grass in trees or steep banks 2-7 greenish white, asynchronous* swoops often at dusk, hovers and drops on prey nomatic migrator that often winters in southern Canada and northern U.S., light and dark morph
American Kestrel farmland and open fields small birds, insects, and rodents cavity nester, little lining material 4-5 white, marked with brown "sit and wait" and then swoops, sometimes hovers over prey smallest North American falcon, tail square, long swept-back, pointed wings
Peregrine Falcon open areas, rock cliffs and tall buildings doves, pigeons, waterfowl, and songbirds rounded scrape on high ledge 3-4 white/pinkish-cream swoops fast (200+ mph) and low after birds endangered species, eggshell thinning (DDT),
reintroduction in cities

*asynchronous = asynchronously, young hatch over an extended period of several days.


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