Hawk Size Explained & Compared With Others

In this article, I’ve listed and compared all the hawk’s sizes.

Red-Tailed Hawk Size 

Hawk Size

The Red-Tailed Hawk is the most common hawk in North America. It is a raptor that breeds across North America, from Alaska to Panama. Although the red-tailed hawk can be found in a variety of habitats and altitudes and has distinct plumage, its size and weight make it easy to identify.

The length of a Red-Tailed Hawk varies depending on a variety of factors, including the bird’s age and gender. Furthermore, the Red-tailed Hawk species exhibit sexual dimorphism based on gender. 

That is, the female Red-Tailed Hawk is significantly larger and 25% heavier than the male. 

An average adult Red-Tailed Hawk’s height ranges from 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in) and weighs 24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g). 

Red-tailed Hawks are massive hawks with Buteo proportions, meaning they have broad and rounded wings and short and wide tails. 

A Red-tailed Hawk is a predatory bird that soars on large, rounded wings, the pinnacle of easy flight because it draws a leisurely, ascending circle even when not flapping. Their average wingspan is 105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in).

BirdHeight WeightWingspan 
Red-Tailed Hawk 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in)24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g)105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in)

Red-Shouldered Hawk Size 

Hawk Size

The Red-Tailed Hawk belongs to the Borealis group, whereas the Red Shouldered Hawk belongs to the lineatus group. While the two bird species appear similar, at times it may be difficult to tell one from the other.

The Red-shouldered Hawk is a massive hawk with black and white striped wings and tail, but it is not as large as the Red-Tailed Hawk. 

Furthermore, Red-shouldered hawks are not only smaller and lighter, but also more delicately formed and appear longer. 

The average height of the Red-Shouldered Hawks varies from 16.9 to 24.0 in (43 to 61 cm) and weighs from 17.1 to 27.3 oz (486 to 774 g). 

Moreover, Red-tailed Hawks have larger wings and slower wingbeats than Red-shouldered Hawks. The wingspan of these birds ranges from 37.0-43.7 in (94-111 cm). Overall, the female Red-Shouldered Hawks are somewhat larger than their male counterparts. 

BirdHeight WeightWingspan 
Red-Shouldered Hawk 16.9 to 24.0 in (43 to 61 cm) 17.1 to 27.3 oz (486 to 774 g)37.0-43.7 in (94-111 cm)

Cooper’s Hawk Size 

Hawk Size

Another hawk in the comparison list is Cooper’s hawk, a medium-sized North American hawk. 

The Cooper’s Hawk is a forest raptor the size of a crow that feeds on birds. It primarily hunts birds and small animals, approaching them through dense cover and then pouncing with a quick, powerful flight.

Talking about the height and weight of the bird, female Cooper’s Hawks are longer than male Cooper’s Hawks. The Cooper’s Hawk averages 14.6-15.3 in (37-39 cm) in length.

While males’ average weight ranges from 280 g in the west to 349 g in the east, females’ average mass ranges from 439 g in the west to 566 g in the east. 

On average the Cooper’s Hawk weighs between 7.8-14.5 oz (220-410 g).

Cooper’s Hawks are small to medium-sized birds with rounded wings and tails. They continue to beat their wings throughout their flight. The Cooper’s Hawk has a medium-sized wingspan that ranges from (24.4-35.4 in) 62 to 90 cm.

Cooper’s Hawk 14.6-15.3 in (37-39 cm)7.8-14.5 oz (220-410 g) 24.4-35.4 in (62-90 cm)

Northern Harrier Size 

The northern harrier is also known as the ring-tailed hawk, a bird of prey. These hawks are quite amazing because they are hawks but also behave like owls because they rely on hearing and vision to catch their prey.

The bird has long, fairly broad wings and a long, rounded tail. Both male and female northern harriers have distinct plumage and are quite different in size.

The northern harrier’s average height is 41-52 cm (16-20 in) long, with a body mass index of 10.6-26.5 oz (300-750 g).

Furthermore, males and females have distinct flight characteristics, with males flying lower and faster than females. 

Females, on the other hand, are larger than males. These birds have an average wingspan of 40.2-46.5 in (102-118 cm).

Northern Harrier 41-52 cm (16-20 in)10.6-26.5 oz (300-750 g)40.2-46.5 in (102-118 cm)

Sharp-Shinned Hawk Size 

Moving on to yet another bird of prey and from the family of hawks, the Sharp-Shinned Hawk is primarily found in dense forest areas, with a few exceptions near forest edges. 

These birds are not found in open areas where there are no trees. When hundreds of them fly across in a flock during their migration, you can easily spot one of these.

In addition, the weight and height of hawks are generally variables depending on their gender and age. 

While juvenile Sharp-Shinned Hawks are smaller than their parents, the females are larger than their male counterparts.

However, if we talk about the average size of these birds then the average height would be about 17.7-22.1 in (45-56 cm) and have a body mass of 24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g).

On the other hand, the wingspan of these species of hawks is about 105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in). 

Sharp-Shinned Hawk 17.7-22.1 in (45-56 cm)24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g)105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in)

Broad-Winged Hawk Size 

Broad-winged Hawks are small, compact raptors with large heads and chunky bodies. Broad-winged Hawks are similar to Red-shouldered Hawks but smaller than Red-tailed Hawks.

During the nesting season, these birds are a secretive species, spending most of their time within the forest canopy.

When compared to other species of hawks, the Broad-winged Hawk is a small bird of prey. Broad-winged hawk females are slightly larger than males. 

The birds’ average height is 13.4-17.3 in (34-44 cm), and their weight ranges between 9.3 and 19.8 oz (265-560 g).

What’s more, as their name suggests, the birds have large, broad wings that they use to hover and fly while flying and hunting. 

Broad-winged raptors have pointed wing tips when flying, and their wings are shorter than their tail when perched. The bird’s average wingspan is 31.9-39.4 in (81-100 cm). 

Broad-Winged Hawk13.4-17.3 in (34-44 cm)9.3 and 19.8 oz (265-560 g)31.9-39.4 in (81-100 cm)

Swainson’s Hawk Size 

Moving on to another hawk in the list, the Swainson’s hawk is a large bird that soars on narrow wings or perches on fence posts and irrigation spouts in the open country of the Great Plains and the West. 

These slim and graceful hawks are usually seen in the summer because they migrate from North America to Argentina in the winter.

Swainson’s hawks are huge soaring open-country raptors. These species’ overall height ranges from 19-22 in (43-56 cm), and their average weight is 1.5-3.5 lbs (0.5–1.7 kg). The male and female Swainson’s hawks are nearly identical in height and weight.

These birds are easy to spot in flight during the winter because they have very unique underwings with white wing linings that contrast sharply with blackish flight feathers.

Their slightly large wingspan is also a way to tell them apart, they have an average wingspan of about 117–137 cm (46–54 in). 

Swainson’s Hawk19-22 in (43-56 cm)1.5-3.5 lbs (0.5–1.7 kg)117–137 cm (46–54 in)

Rough-legged Hawk Size 

The name of this hawk sounds a quite weird right? How can a bird be called rough-legged? But there is no mystery behind this, the rough-legged hawks are called so because they have feathers extending all the way up to their feet. 

Additionally, Rough-legged Hawks are huge hawks with broad wings that are relatively long and narrow compared to other Buteo hawks.

The average height of these birds ranges from 18.5-20.5 in (47-52 cm) and weighs about 25.2-49.4 oz (715-1400 g). 

Although these birds are quite large, they have narrow wings. The average wingspan of the Rough-legged Hawks is about 52.0-54.3 in (132-138 cm). 

Rough-legged hawk 18.5-20.5 in (47-52 cm)25.2-49.4 oz (715-1400 g)52.0-54.3 in (132-138 cm)

Ferruginous Hawk Size 

The ferruginous hawk can be found in the western half of the United States, where it spends its time hunting prairie dogs and other small mammals in open plains or desert areas. 

It’s quite a sight when these birds congregate in groups of 5-10 and threaten each other. Ferruginous hawks are frequently seen soaring in the sky, awaiting to catch their prey. 

You might not be surprised to learn that Ferruginous hawks are the largest and most powerful hawks in North America. 

The average height of these birds of prey is about 22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm) and has an average weight of about 34.5-73.2 oz (977-2074 g). 

These large hawks are one of only two hawk species in the United States with feathers that extend all the way down their legs. 

The wingspan of these large hawks is also quite large, about 52.4-55.9 in (133-142 cm) from the tip of one wing to the tip of the other wing. 

Ferruginous Hawk22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm)34.5-73.2 oz (977-2074 g)52.4-55.9 in (133-142 cm)

Northern Goshawk Size

Did you know that the goshawk is known as a “true hawk” because it belongs to the Accipiter genus? Furthermore, the Northern Goshawk is a fearsome predator of the northern and mountain woods.

The Northern Goshawk is larger, more ferocious, and wilder than other hawks. The Goshawk has an average length of 20.9-25.2 in (53-64 cm) and weighs 22.3-48.1 oz (631-1364 g).

When it comes to the bird’s wings, it has broad, rounded wings with relatively long secondary flight feathers that give the trailing edge of the wing a curved or bulging appearance. 

In flight, the wingtips can appear pointed, and the bird has a wingspan of about 40.5-46.1 in (103-117 cm).

Northern Goshawk20.9-25.2 in (53-64 cm)22.3-48.1 oz (631-1364 g)40.5-46.1 in (103-117 cm)

White-Tailed Hawk Size 

Last but not least on the list of hawks is the White-tailed hawk. As the name suggests, you can easily identify these birds by their white-colored tails. These are large species of hawks, with very broad wings. 

In addition to having a very large range around several countries, these are also large in terms of their overall size. 

The average height of the White-tailed hawk is about 18.1-20.5 in (46-52 cm) and has a body mass of about 31.0-43.6 oz (880-1235 g). 

Talking about the wings of the birds, they have quite long wings. During their flight, it becomes easier to view their white tails. 

They also have quite a large wingspan, the average wingspan of the White-tailed hawk is about 50.4-51.6 in (128-131 cm). 

White-Tailed Hawk18.1-20.5 in (46-52 cm)31.0-43.6 oz (880-1235 g)50.4-51.6 in (128-131 cm)

Hawks Sizing Tables

  1. Hawks Height Table
Red-Tailed Hawk 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in)
Red-Shouldered Hawk 16.9 to 24.0 in (43 to 61 cm) 
Cooper’s Hawk 14.6-15.3 in (37-39 cm)
Northern Harrier 41-52 cm (16-20 in)
Sharp-Shinned Hawk 17.7-22.1 in (45-56 cm)
Broad-Winged Hawk13.4-17.3 in (34-44 cm)
Swainson’s Hawk19-22 in (43-56 cm)
Rough-legged hawk 18.5-20.5 in (47-52 cm)
Ferruginous Hawk22.1-27.2 in (56-69 cm)
Northern Goshawk20.9-25.2 in (53-64 cm)
White-Tailed Hawk18.1-20.5 in (46-52 cm)
  1. Hawks Weight Table
Red-Tailed Hawk 24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g)
Red-Shouldered Hawk 17.1 to 27.3 oz (486 to 774 g)
Cooper’s Hawk 7.8-14.5 oz (220-410 g)
Northern Harrier 10.6-26.5 oz (300-750 g)
Sharp-Shinned Hawk 24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g)
Broad-Winged Hawk9.3 and 19.8 oz (265-560 g)
Swainson’s Hawk1.5-3.5 lbs (0.5–1.7 kg)
Rough-legged hawk 25.2-49.4 oz (715-1400 g)
Ferruginous Hawk34.5-73.2 oz (977-2074 g)
Northern Goshawk22.3-48.1 oz (631-1364 g)
White-Tailed Hawk31.0-43.6 oz (880-1235 g)
  1. Hawks Wingspan Table
Red-Tailed Hawk 105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in)
Red-Shouldered Hawk 37.0-43.7 in (94-111 cm)
Cooper’s Hawk 24.4-35.4 in (62-90 cm)
Northern Harrier 40.2-46.5 in (102-118 cm)
Sharp-Shinned Hawk 105 to 141 cm (3 ft 5 in to 4 ft 8 in)
Broad-Winged Hawk31.9-39.4 in (81-100 cm)
Swainson’s Hawk117–137 cm (46–54 in)
Rough-legged hawk 52.0-54.3 in (132-138 cm)
Ferruginous Hawk52.4-55.9 in (133-142 cm)
Northern Goshawk40.5-46.1 in (103-117 cm)
White-Tailed Hawk50.4-51.6 in (128-131 cm)

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