7 Fearsome Species of Hawk In Maryland: You Must Know About

Hawk In Maryland

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

Although all hawks have certain fundamental characteristics, such as keen vision, hooked beaks, and taloned feet, they differ in shape and size.

Hawks are dangerous predators. They catch, kill, and devour a broad variety of animals in order to survive.

This predatory behavior is not malicious or destructive in any manner. It has been going on for millions of years and is critical to the balance of nature.

Hawks are massive, powerful birds. Their hooked beaks strike and rip flesh, and their feet have sharp, curved talons for capturing prey.

Certain types of hawks may dive at rates of up to 150 miles per hour. In the animal realm, their hearing and vision are unrivaled. Not only can hawks sight farther than humans, but they can also travel faster.

Hawks in MarylandLengthWeightIdentification(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.

Hawk In Maryland

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Sharp-Shinned Hawks like building nests, which are often lined with twigs and bark to offer adequate insulation for their eggs.

These ferocious birds, on the other hand, are notorious for stealing and devouring young birds from nests.

The greatest time to see one of these terrifying beasts is during their fall migration. They are particularly prevalent during the transitional seasons, when large numbers may be spotted.

If you want to see these lovely birds, Maryland is a great place to start, especially in the fall. Because of their migratory habits, they may be found all across the nation.

Cooper’s Hawk

Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are quite similar, 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 about the size of a crow and resemble an accipiter, with broad, rounded wings and a long tail. Cooper’s hawks are superb fliers, capable of flying into deep woodland in pursuit of smaller birds.

They are most commonly seen on woodland edges, although they can 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 most of their time reproducing in deep woods, only going out on huge plains to seek food.

Remember that if you have bird feeders in your yard, these critters are notorious for taking innocent songbirds. So if you have or find a bird feeder in your yard, remove and replace it.

Broad-winged Hawk

The Broad-winged Hawk loves to nest in deep forests with an abundance 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 famous for its remarkable migratory patterns. 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. Following a cold front, significant numbers of these birds may be spotted traveling to warmer places.

Red-tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk has a large wingspan and is a powerful bird. With an almost ridiculously large wingspan, this bird may be seen flying over your city/house.

Given its size, it’s not surprising that it can terrify and consume almost any little creature.

Because they migrate, you’ll see them soaring across the sky during the day to keep warm when the weather is cool.

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

Rough-legged Hawk

The Rough-Legged Hawk is an explorer who is frequently seen scanning the globe for its next meal.

The Rough-Legged Hawk is a self-assured and protective species that prioritizes nesting and mating. It is well-known for its capacity to build high-altitude nests from where it can see the world below.

Because other birds in the vicinity are likely to annoy them, these birds build their nests so high.

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 find prey.

These hawks have long, wide 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 primarily feed on small mammals and birds. They build their nests on the ground among dense vegetation like reeds, willows, and brushtails. They have a clutch of 4-5 dull white eggs.

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