8 Menacing Species of Hawks In New Jersey: You Must Know About

Hawks In New Jersey

Hawk is a general word for a vast group of raptors that belong to the Falconiformes order.

There are now 270 species of hawks known to humans, with the exception of Antarctica, which may be found on all continents.

Marshes, woods, rainforests, prairies, wide savannas, meadows, mountains, and coastal regions are all ideal habitats for huge bird species.

The smallest hawk is the American Kestrel, which weighs only 4 ounces, while the largest is the Ferruginous Hawk, which may weigh up to 5 pounds. The following is a list of eight different varieties of hawks in New Jersey.

Hawks in New JerseyLengthWeightIdentification(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 New Jersey

Sharp-shinned Hawk

The Sharp-Shinned Hawks take delight in their nests, which are typically lined with twigs and bark to provide appropriate insulation for their eggs.

These ruthless birds, on the other hand, have a reputation for stealing young birds from nests and pulling their feathers off before consuming them.

The ideal time to observe one of these fearsome animals is during their migration in the fall.

They are more prevalent during the transitional times between seasons, when they may be seen in huge numbers, however, they can be spotted in the winter as well.

The Sharp-Shinned Hawk is one of the most well-known hawk species for many years.  Despite their extensive distribution, they are primarily found near the coast and against the mountains.

When it comes to hunting down these gorgeous birds, New Jersey can be a great place to start, especially in the fall. Because of their migratory nature, they may be found all across the nation.

Cooper’s Hawk

The Cooper’s Hawk is a unique bird with a self-assured demeanor and a medium stature. This particular hawk may be found happily building nests in a variety of trees, including pines, oaks, and spruces.

These charming birds like to create safe, well-protected nests away from other birds.

It might be because they have a reputation for eating smaller birds, yet they prefer to keep their eggs and young concealed.

These species are most commonly spotted during the summer months when the weather is warm.

This bird may be found all year, but when the weather is pleasant, it is known to have a considerably wider look.

The Cooper’s Hawk, like many other hawks in the area, prefers to be in wooded areas.

Because these birds are so particular about their nests, they prefer to live in areas where there are many large, tall trees.

They like spending time in the forests and other natural environments, where they may feast on a wide range of animals.

Red-shouldered Hawk

The beautiful copper feathers on this majestic hawk make it one of the most appealing hawks on the planet.

Each year, these brave birds have been known to spend up to five weeks building a nice nest for their young. They put forth a lot of effort to make their nesting efforts ideal.

The end of winter and the beginning of spring are the best times to see these birds in the state.

This is due to the fact that they are actively seeking mates and are normally more active at this time of year. They are known to be more visible and audible at various times.

The Red-Shouldered Hawk is a proud North Carolina inhabitant that may be found in a variety of habitats.

They are most typically found in counties known for their marshes and woods. This makes them easier to see on the state’s eastern edge, although they have been known to move into other places as well. 

Broad-winged Hawk

When it comes to breeding, the Broad-Winged Hawk prefers to stay concealed in deep woodlands where it will have access to a plentiful supply of food.

This is necessary for mating, nesting, and child-rearing. Despite their intimidating look, they prefer to build their nests well away from humans.

The ideal time to look for the Broad-Winged Hawk is in the summer. The migratory patterns of this hawk are well-known. In the winter, it doesn’t just move a little.

This one-of-a-kind bird completely abandons the United States when winter hits. These birds may be spotted traveling in large groups to warmer climates after a cold front passes through.

Without a question, the Carolina Raptor Center is the best spot to see a Broad-Winged Hawk. They are known to have a few of these beautiful birds among them.

They may be found in highly forested areas the bulk of the time. However, during their migratory phases, it is easier to notice them as they begin their migrations.

Red-Tailed Hawk

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a frightening bird with a massive wingspan. This bird may be seen soaring through the air with an almost absurdly wide wingspan.

Given its size, it should come as no surprise that it can frighten and devour practically any little creature.

Because they’re migratory, you’ll see them flying across the sky in the middle of the day to stay warm as the weather cools.

The Red-Tailed Hawk is a massive bird that can be seen from afar. Because of its commanding posture and immense size, it has no qualms about being publicly visible.

They’ve been spotted on telephone poles, fences, and other prominent places. In the evenings, they can be spotted lurking on the fringes of the woods, waiting for a meal to materialize on the ground below.

If you want to see a Red-Tailed Hawk, look for one throughout the day.

Rough-legged Hawk

The Rough-Legged Hawk is a proud and protective creature who places great emphasis on nesting and mating. It is well-known for constructing high-altitude nests that look down on the world below.

These birds are likely to be irritated by other birds in the area, which is why they build their nests so high.

Because their sturdy nests are reused year after year, they are built to be incredibly durable and low-maintenance.

The Rough-Legged Hawk is a bit of an explorer, and it’s frequently seen scouring the globe for its next meal.

If you’re having trouble finding one, stop by the Carolina Raptor Center and meet one of their local residents.

Northern Harrier

In New Jersey and North America, Northern Harriers are the most owl-like hawks. To hunt for prey, they rely significantly on their acute hearing and good vision.

These hawks are between the size of a crow and a goose, having long broad wings. They frequently fly in a v-shape, with the tips of their wings higher than their bodies. Males are grey above and white below, with a white rump patch. Females are brown.

Northern Harriers consume primarily small mammals and birds. They build their nests in dense vegetation such as reeds, willows, or brushtails on the ground. They have a clutch of 4-5 dull white eggs.

Northern Goshawk

The Northern Goshawk is a one-of-a-kind bird that can be distinguished in part by its massive size.

Though not all types of this bird are huge, some can weigh up to a few pounds, which is a substantial quantity for a single bird.

The general population considers their nests to be works of art. They are noted for creating a type of bowl out of thin sticks and insulating it with vegetation and tree bark.

It’s difficult to spot a Northern Goshawk because they don’t want to be spotted. On rare occasions this bird is sighted throughout the summer, it is mainly in forested areas.

Despite the fact that these birds have been seen in forested areas throughout the state, they are elusive and difficult to track.

Although some people claim to have seen these birds in nearby woodlands, confirmed sightings are uncommon because these birds prefer to hide in trees and at higher altitudes.

There have only been a few cases that have been confirmed.

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