8 Unnerving Species Of Hawks In Maine: You Must Know About

Hawks In Maine

A “hawk” is a predatory bird that is active all day. There are over 270 species of carnivorous birds in the order Falconiformes worldwide. Raptors, often known as birds of prey, are a catch-all word for all of them.

Although all hawks have certain basic qualities, such as acute vision, hooked beaks, and taloned feet, they range in shape and size. Hawks are formidable predators.

To survive, they catch, kill, and devour a wide range of animals. This predatory behavior is neither intentional nor damaging in any way. It has been going on for millions of years and is vital to the balance of nature.

Hawks in MaineLengthWeightIdentification(Color)Diet/Favorite Food
Sharp-Shinned Hawk9.4-13.4 in (24-34 cm)3.1-7.7 oz (87-218 g)This hawk has a slaty blue-gray upper body, with narrow, horizontal red-orange bars on the breast.Mostly small birds and animals.
Cooper’s Hawk14.6-15.3 in (37-39 cm) to 16.5-17.7 in (42-45 cm)7.8-14.5 oz (220-410 g) to 11.6-24.0 oz (330-680 g)This hawk has a steely blue-gray upper body with warm reddish bars on the underparts and thick dark bands on the tail.Mostly small to medium birds and animals.
Red-Shouldered Hawk16.9-24.0 in (43-61 cm)17.1-27.3 oz (486-774 g)These hawks are very colorful with warm reddish barring on the breast and dark-and-white checkered wings.Mostly small birds, animals, and reptiles.
Broad-Winged Hawk 13.4-17.3 in (34-44 cm)9.3-19.8 oz (265-560 g)This hawk has a reddish-brown head, barred underbody, and broad black and white bands on the tail.Mostly small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds
Red-Tailed Hawk 17.7-22.1 in (45-56 cm) to 19.7-25.6 in (50-65 cm)24.3-45.9 oz (690-1300 g) to 31.8-51.5 oz (900-1460 g)This hawk has a rich brown upper body and pale below, with a streaked belly and, and a dark bar between shoulder and wrist.Mostly small mammals, birds, reptiles
Rough-Legged Hawk18.5-20.5 in (47-52 cm)25.2-49.4 oz (715-1400 g)These hawks are dark-brown in color with tails that are dark at the tip and pale at the base.Mostly feeds on small animals such as lemmings and voles.
Northern Harrier18.1-19.7 in (46-50 cm)10.6-26.5 oz (300-750 g)This hawk has a gray upper body and whitish lower body with black wingtips and a black-banded tail.Mostly feeds on small to medium-sized animals.
Northern Goshawk20.9-25.2 in (53-64 cm)22.3-48.1 oz (631-1364 g)This hawk has pale gray barred underparts and dark slate gray upper body. The color of the head is dark with a wide white stripe over the eye. Mostly small to medium birds and animals.

Hawks In Maine

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-Shinned Hawks like constructing nests, which are frequently lined with twigs and bark to provide appropriate insulation for their eggs.

These vicious birds, on the other hand, are known for snatching and eating nestlings.

The best time to see one of these dreadful beasts is during their autumn migration. They are most common during the transitional seasons, when enormous numbers may be seen.

If you want to see these beautiful birds, Maine can be a good place to start, especially in the fall. They may be found all throughout the country due to their migratory behavior.

Cooper’s Hawk

Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are remarkably alike, making differentiation difficult. Both species use a flap-flap-glide flight style.

Cooper’s hawks, on the other hand, are bigger and have broader wings than other hawks.

They are roughly the size of a crow, with broad, rounded wings and a long tail like an accipiter. Cooper’s hawks are strong flyers, capable of soaring into deep woodland in search of smaller birds.

They are most typically seen in woodland boundaries, although they may also be found in backyards.

These hawks, which used to avoid inhabited regions, are increasingly abundant in cities, suburbs, and other urban areas, where they hunt on pigeons and doves.

Red-shouldered Hawk

The best time to see these accipiter hawks is during their fall migration. During migration, they travel south in large numbers, giving you a higher chance of seeing them.

They spend much of their time reproducing in dense forests, only venturing out into huge plains to search for food.

Keep in mind that if you have bird feeders in your yard, these critters are notorious for snatching innocent songbirds. If you find a bird feeder in your yard, remove it or replace it.

Broad-winged Hawk

Broad-Winged Hawks like to nest in densely forested areas where there is lots of food. Mating, nesting, and child-raising all require this. Despite their fearsome appearance, they prefer to construct their nests away from people.

Summer is the best season to look for the Broad-Winged Hawk. This hawk is well-known for its unusual migratory habits. It doesn’t just move a little bit in the cold.

When winter arrives, this one-of-a-kind bird abandons the United States entirely. Large numbers of these birds may be spotted moving to warmer climates following a cold front.

Red-Tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a large bird with a large wingspan. This bird may be seen flying over the sky with an almost ridiculously large wingspan.

Given its size, it’s no surprise that it can terrify and consume almost any little creature.

Because they migrate, you may see them flying over the sky throughout the day to keep warm as the temperature cools.

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a huge bird that can be spotted from afar. It has no qualms about being freely exposed due to its dominant position and massive size.

Rough-legged Hawk

The Rough-Legged Hawk is a self-assured and protective bird that prioritizes nesting and mating.

It is famous for its capacity to build high-altitude nests from which it can observe the world below.

Because other birds in the neighborhood are likely to annoy them, these birds build their nests so high. The Rough-Legged Hawk is an adventurer who is always looking for their next meal.

Their strong nests are meant to be extremely long-lasting and low-maintenance because they are reused year after year.

Northern Harrier

Northern Harriers are the most owl-like of all hawk species. They rely heavily on their keen hearing and eyesight to locate prey.

These hawks have long, broad wings and are roughly the size of a crow or a goose. They often fly in a v formation, with their wings higher than their body.

Males are grey on top and white on the bottom, with a white rump patch. Females are brown in color.

Northern Harriers mostly feed on small animals and birds. Nests are constructed on the ground among thick vegetation including reeds, willows, and brushtails. They have a clutch of 4-5 dull white eggs.

Northern Goshawk

Northern goshawks are more solitary than other hawks, making them harder to spot.

Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are relatives, albeit the Sharp-shinned is bigger and more aggressive. Their eyes are reddish-orange with white stripes above them.

They are shaped like an accipiter, with short, wide wings and a long tail that permits them to fly quickly while hunting their preferred diet of small birds.

Humans are prey to their wrath. Northern goshawks have been known to attack people who get too close to their nests.

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