Broad-winged Hawk


 



Broad-winged Hawk


Broad-winged Hawk
(Buteo platypterus)

Order:  Accipitriformes
Family:  Accipitridae









Photo: J. Waters [CC-BY-SA-3.0] by WC

Broad-winged Hawk Information

Length:  14 - 19"

Breeding Habitat:  Dry deciduous or mixed forests, forest edges, forest openings; wooded edges of swamps, lakes, ponds, and streams.

Diet:  Small mammals such as shrews, mice, voles, squirrels; frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, large insects, some small birds.

  Calls of the Broad-winged Hawk

Interesting Facts about the Broad-winged Hawk

  • In the fall, Broad-winged Hawks migrate to Central and South America in large flocks (also known as "kettles"). The raptors in these flocks often number in the thousands and ride the warm upward-moving air currents called thermals.
  • Each year, these raptors return to their previous nesting territory, but unlike some birds, they don't use the same nest. Instead they build a new nest or add onto an existing nest that was built by a squirrel, crow, or other hawk.
  • Raccoons, porcupines, and crows sometimes prey on the eggs and/or nestlings of the Broad-winged Hawk. There have even been reports of adult Broad-winged Hawks falling prey to Great Horned Owls and eagles.

Broad-winged Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk

© Pr2is | Dreamstime

Broad-winged Hawk
Identification Tips

  • Wingspan: 33 inches
  • Sexes similar
  • Short, dark, hooked beak
  • Medium-sized, broad-winged, broad-tailed hawk
  • Short, broad wings somewhat pointed at the tip
Light Morph Adult:
  • Dark brown head, nape, upperwing, and back
  • Pale breast with thick, reddish bars to belly
  • Pale underwing with thick black margin to trailing edge
  • Thick black and white bands on tail of even width
Light Morph Immature
  • Dark brown head, nape, upperwing, and back
  • Pale breast with thick, reddish bars to belly
  • Pale underwing with thick black margin to trailing edge
  • Thick black and white bands on tail of even width

(Credit: U. S. Geological Survey)

More ID Tips for Broad-winged Hawk


Breeding Bird Survey Map,
2011-2015

Broad-winged Hawk Breeding Map

(Image credit: USGS)


Winter Map from eBird

Sightings of the Broad-winged Hawk Nov-Mar over last 10 years