Wildlife

What ? kind of Hawk is this

There are two main groups of hawks: accipiters and buteos. Accipiters are the forest-dwelling hawks. North American species include the northern goshawk, Cooper’s hawk, and sharp-shinned hawk. They are characterized by distinctive flight silhouettes—relatively short, rounded wings and a long rudder like tail. Their flight pattern consists of several rapid wing beats, then a short period of gliding flight, followed by more rapid wing beats. Accipiters are rarely seen except during migration because they inhabit forested areas and are more secretive than many of the buteos.

The largest and least common, but most troublesome, accipiter is the goshawk . It is a bold predator that feeds primarily on forest-dwelling rodents, rabbits, and birds. Occasionally, it is attracted by free-ranging poultry or large concentrations of game birds and can cause depredation problems. Its breeding range is limited to Canada, the northern United States, and the montane forests of the western United States. Spectacular autumn invasions of goshawks occur at irregular intervals in the northern states. These are probably the result of widespread declines in prey populations throughout the goshawk’s breeding range. Cooper’s hawks will occasionally cause problems with poultry; sharp-shinned hawks are rarely a problem because of their small size.

The buteos are known as the broad-winged or soaring hawks. They are the most commonly observed raptors in North America. Typical species include the red-tailed hawk, red-shouldered hawk, broad-winged hawk, Swainson’s hawk, rough-legged hawk, and ferruginous hawk. All buteos have long, broad wings and relatively short, fan like tails. These features enable them to soar over open country during their daily travels and seasonal migrations.

The red-tailed hawk is one of our most common and widely distributed raptors. Redtails can be found over the entire North American continent south of the treeless tundra and in much of Central America. They demonstrate a remarkably wide ecological tolerance for nesting and hunting sites throughout their extensive range. Typical eastern retails nest in mature forests and woodlots, while in the Southwest they often nest on cliffs or in trees and cacti. Their diet, although extremely varied, usually contains large numbers of rodents and other small mammals. Red-tails occasionally take poultry and other livestock, but the benefits they provide in aesthetics, as well as in the killing of rodents may outweigh depredation costs. Other species of buteos rarely cause problems

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