Sharp-shinned Hawk
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General description.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is one of the smallest hawks found in North America. Despite its small size, the Sharp-shinned Hawk has a uncharacteristically long tail. It is also one of the most migratory hawks because it breeds in Alaska, but winters as far south as Panama. Like all birds of prey, populations of this bird declined in the 70's due to the use of pesticides. The population appears to be declining once more. Sharp-shinned hawks are usually seen in groups during migration, but for the rest of the year they are watching and preying on smaller birds, out of sight. Once it spots its prey, it will chase the animal with reckless abandon, often through thick brush in the forest. The female Sharp-shinned Hawk builds a platform shaped nest out of twigs high up in a tree. This bird is not afraid to attack in order to defend its nest, so humans should take caution if a nest is spotted.

Female appearance.

Larger than male.

Juvenile appearance.

Similar to male and female, but with a brown back and white chest, streaked heavily with brown.

Flight pattern.

Direct, beats wings rapidly several times and glides.

Breeding habits.


Calls or song.

kek-kek-kek or kik-kik-kik

Population and distribution.

Common throughout its seasonal ranges throughout North America

Nesting habits.

The Sharp-shinned Hawk builds a nest in a tree and lays 4-5 white to blue eggs in May
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