|Hawks in West Virginia||Length||Weight||Identification(Color)||Diet/Favorite Food|
|Sharp-Shinned Hawk||9.4-13.4 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 Hawk||14.6-15.3 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 Hawk||16.9-24.0 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 Hawk||18.5-20.5 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 Harrier||18.1-19.7 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 Goshawk||20.9-25.2 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.|
Hawk In West Virginia
Sharp-shinned adult Hawks have a blue-gray back with a red-orange breast. Their tails are marked with black bands.
Females are one-third the size of males. They have long, square-ended tails, short, rounded wings, and tiny heads.
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 nestlings.
They are highly elusive, however, they can be observed flying through open regions at the margins of woodlands.
They are quite fast and can sprint through deep woodlands to capture their food in flight, which is mainly songbirds.
The greatest time to observe one of these terrifying creatures is during their fall migration. They are particularly prevalent during the transitional seasons, when large numbers may be seen.
If you wish to observe these gorgeous birds, each of these locations is a fantastic starting point, especially in the fall. Because of their migratory habits, they may be found all across the nation.
They are sometimes observed grabbing tiny birds around feeders, but if you have problems with them in your backyard, remove the feeder for a few weeks.
Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are very similar, making identification challenging. Both species fly in a flap-flap-glide pattern.
Cooper’s hawks, on the other hand, are larger than other hawks and have wider wings.
They are about the size of a crow, with broad, rounded wings and a long tail similar to that of an accipiter.
Cooper’s hawks are powerful flyers capable of flying into the dense forest in quest of smaller birds.
They are most commonly seen near forest margins, although they may also be found in backyards.
These hawks, which used to avoid populated areas, are becoming more common in cities, suburbs, and other urban areas, where they prey on pigeons and doves.
Red-shouldered Hawks are easily identified by their black and white checkered wings and reddish banding on the breast. They are medium-sized, something between a crow and a swan, with a heavily banded tail.
Nests are frequently reused year after year in a broad-leaved tree near water. They lay between 2 and 5 white or blue eggs.
The greatest time to watch these accipiter hawks is during their migration in the fall. They migrate south in great numbers during migration, giving you a better chance of viewing them.
They spend most of their time breeding in impenetrable woods, only venturing out into vast plains to find food.
They are often found hunting by a stream or pond among moist woodlands. Their prey consists of animals, frogs, and snakes.
Remember, if you have bird feeders in your yard, these animals are renowned for stealing innocent songbirds. If you come upon a birdfeeder in your yard, take it down and replace it.
When it comes to breeding, the Broad-Winged Hawk prefers to stay concealed in dense woodlands with plenty of food.
This is required for mating, nesting, and kid rearing. Despite their intimidating look, they prefer to build their nests away from humans.
Summer is the best season to look for the Broad-Winged Hawk. This hawk is well-known for its extraordinary 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. After a cold front comes through, these birds may be seen traveling in huge quantities to warmer places.
Broad-winged Hawks breed in West Virginia before traveling to South America in vast numbers in a whirling flock known as a kettle.
The broad-winged Hawks frequently lay 2-3 pale eggs in the nest of another species, such as a crow or squirrel.
These hawks hunt small animals, frogs, snakes, and even juvenile turtles from perches on the edge of woodlands or near water.
To locate one, listen for the piercing, single-pitched whistle produced by a Broad-winged hawk while hunting. They usually fly far above the trees in search of little objects on the ground.
Throughout the year, they can be seen, generally sitting on high viewing points or hovering overhead. You’re likely to see these on roadside telephone poles on your everyday commute.
They have a white, creamy bottom with reddish-brown patterns and a prominent red-feather tail. Their large, rounded wings and short tail, which are typical of buteo hawks, may be seen in flight.
Nests are found in very tall trees, on cliff ledges, and even on large structures or towers. They deposit 2-3 blotched white eggs.
The Red-tailed Hawk’s high-pitched descending raspy-screech sound is frequently utilized in films to represent all raptors.
Small animals, birds, and reptiles are among their favorite foods. Listen for their distinctive raptor cry – it’s the same sound utilized in most movies and television shows for hawks and other birds of prey.
The Rough-Legged Hawk is a proud and protective species that prioritizes nesting and mating. It is well-known for building nests high in the sky with a view of the world below.
Because other birds in the neighborhood are likely to irritate these birds, they construct their nests so high.
Because their sturdy nests are reused year after year, they are built to be extremely durable and require little maintenance.
The majority of Rough-legged Hawks’ prey is lemmings and voles. In places like West Virginia, voles, mice, ground squirrels, and other small animals supply winter prey.
They normally build their nests on a steep rock ledge and lay 3-5 light bluish-white eggs.
When hunting, they often fly up and face the wind, hovering and surveying the ground for prey.
Their buteo form is similar to that of the Red-tailed hawk, but their wings are longer and thinner.
Rough-legged hawks have dark-brown markings, however, light and dark variations can be seen.
Northern Harriers resemble owls the most of any hawk species. To find prey, they rely largely on their acute hearing and vision.
These hawks are about the size of a crow or a goose, with long, wide wings. Their wings are frequently higher than their bodies when they fly in a v shape.
Males have a white rump patch and are grey on top and white on the bottom. Females have a brown coloration.
Small animals and birds are the main sources of food for Northern Harriers. Nests are built on the ground, surrounded by dense vegetation such as reeds, willows, and brushtails. They have 4-5 dull white eggs in their clutch.
Northern goshawks are less gregarious than other hawks, making them more difficult to locate.
Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks are cousins, albeit the Sharp-shinned is somewhat larger and more active.
Their eyes have a reddish-orange color with white stripes on top. Northern Goshawks build up to eight nests and lay 2-4 bluish-white eggs in each one.
They have the morphology of an accipiter, with short, broad wings and a long tail that allows them to fly fast when hunting small birds, which is their favored food.
Their fury falls on humans. People who approach their nests too closely have been reported to be attacked by northern goshawks.
Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks are their larger and more ferocious cousins. These hawks are between a crow and a goose in size.
They have short, wide wings and a long tail and are generally grey. They have golden eyes and a white line above their eyes.
Goshawks are found in huge areas of predominantly coniferous or mixed woodland. They hunt for food from high perches, and their diet consists of medium-sized birds and small animals.
They are difficult to discover since they reside in big forests and are quite secretive, and they may be violent if you come too close to a nest.
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