Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby And Juvenile: Everything You Need To Know

Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby And Juvenile

Sharp-shinned hawks are a small species of hawk scientifically known as Accipiter striatus

This species has approximately 10 more subspecies, coming from the genus Accipiter. 

This species and the other subspecies are widespread throughout South America, Central America, North America and the Greater Antilles. 

The bird gets this name because of the presence of a sharp, laterally compressed keel on the leading edge of its long legs. 

This article is going to provide you with all the necessary information regarding a sharp-shinned hawk baby like the size, weight, physical features, behaviour, etc.

Also, you can find the breeding process of a grown pair of this particular species. So hop on and keep reading. 

What Does A Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby Look Like? Identification

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After successfully hatching from the eggs, the babies come out with their bodies fully covered by white down and open eyes. 

They don’t come out of the nest and are protected by the parent sharp-shinned hawks. 

The parents provide them with protection and food. These hawks are in turn prey of other birds like marsh hawks, cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, and peregrine falcons. 

After some weeks of their birth, the babies start to show distinct brown colours throughout their bodies. 

The adult ones are blue-greyish on the head with horizontal red and orange bars on the chest, and dark broad bands across their tail feathers. 

Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby Size And Weight

The adult female sharp-shinned hawk lays about 3-8 eggs at a time and the length varies between 3-4.5cm whereas the width is 2.5-3.5cm. 

The baby hatched from this egg can be approximately around 5-6cm. The size generally differs from one baby to another depending on the size of the egg. 

The weight of the newly hatched baby can be somewhere around 23-25gms (0.8oz). Again this weight varies for different offspring because they differ in size most of the time. 

They grow up equally to be of mature size and weight since the parents provide equal care and support to all the babies. 

What Does A Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk Look Like?

The babies start to grow up quickly with proper support from their parents and they quickly become juveniles. 

A juvenile or an immature bird has brown body feathers with coarse vertical streaks on the white underparts. They also have broad dark bands across their large tail feathers. 

What Is A Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby Called?

The most interesting fact about the species of sharp-shinned hawk is they have different names entitled to male, female and child. The females are known as hens and the males as tiercels. The baby sharp-shinned hawks are called eyas. 

What Does A Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby Eat?

A sharp-shinned hawk baby or eyas after birth has a nesting period of about 28-35 days where they are dependent on their parents. 

During the first few weeks, when they are unable to get out of the nest, eat only what the parent birds provide. 

They generally feed on other small songbirds, American robins, sparrows, doves, quails, woodpeckers, and other small birds

They also feed on rodents like mice, and moles and insects like grasshoppers, butterflies, spiders, etc. 

The parent birds sometimes kill nestlings of other birds to feed their own babies. Hence the babies feed among these things until they are old enough to hunt and provide food for themselves. 

How Many Babies Do Sharp-Shinned Hawk Have In One Year?

The breeding season of sharp-shinned hawks is between March to June. This species of bird is usually monogamous and they nest in pairs during the breeding season. 

The nesting site is chosen and prepared at secretive places but them to protect the eggs and babies from bigger raptors. 

They lay eggs only once every season and the number generally varies between 3-5. 

The colour of the eggs is generally dull-white or pale-blue splotched with brown, violet, red, or hazel with an incubation period of 30-35 days. 

All the eggs don’t hatch due to attack from predators or immature kind, mostly 2-3 babies hatch and grow up to become adults. 

How Long Do Baby Sharp-Shinned Hawks Stay In The Nest?

After the laying of eggs and incubation period of 30-35 days, the nesting period of the baby sharp-shinned hawks generally lasts for 28-35 days. 

The days typically depend on the development of babies both mentally and physically. 

The babies should learn how to hunt, eat, protect themselves from predators, and fly before leaving the nest to start their own individual life.

They reach reproductive maturity at 2 years of age, which is quite late than the other bird species.

When Do Sharp-Shinned Hawk Baby Starts Flying?

The initial first days after hatching, the babies of sharp-shinned hawks spend their time watching the parent’s activities. 

Then they start to participate too, at first learning how to walk in the nest and then starting to communicate. 

Finally, they learn how to flap their wings and during the latest times of the nesting period, they start to fly with the parent birds. 

Initially, the babies just follow wherever the parent birds fly but as they grow up they start to live more individually and fly off to other places alone. 

What Does Sharp-Shinned Hawk Sound Like?

The sounds of the sharp-shinned hawks are of two types: 

Calls: The Sharp-shinned Hawks’ typical call is a frantic kik-kik-kik which is high pitched. 

It is used as an alarm call at times of courtship, and by young birds just before they fledge. 

Nestlings and brooding females have a thin and high-pitched voice to beg for food when the male brings prey to the nest.

Songs: The sharp-shinned hawks don’t have any specific songs but they have a plaintive squeal or a series of excited kik-kik-kik. 

Since males are smaller than the female ones, they have a more high-pitched voice and the mated pairs during breeding season communicate with each other with the noisiest chitter-chatter. 


The baby sharp-shinned hawks or eyas are the ones that grab all the attention of the parent hawks. 

They spend the initial time with the siblings and then try to learn different activities from their parents to live an individual adult lifestyle. 

This article is stacked with all the important facts relating to a baby sharp-shinned hawk. 

Thanks for reading this! 

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