Sharp-shinned Hawk

Accipiter striatus

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

SSHA

Code 6

ACCSTR

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Sharp-shinned Hawk has a large range, estimated globally at 20,600,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and nearby island nations, this bird prefers forest, savanna, and shrubland ecosystems. The global population of this bird has not been precisely determined but does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Sharp-shinned Hawk is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Small hawk with blue-gray upperparts and rufous bars on white underparts. Eyes are dark red. Wings are short and rounded. Tail is long and squared with heavy bars. Legs and feet are yellow. Flight consists of rapid wing beats followed by a short glide. Often soars on thermals.


Range and Habitat

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Breeds throughout the United States as far north as Canada. Found in dense woods except in winter and during migration. Showing strong migratory behavior, large numbers can sometimes be seen along coastlines and ridgelines as they move south in the fall. Usually nests in coniferous, deciduous or mixed forests.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"kik-kik-kik"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Adult Sharp-shinned Hawks pass food to their young in mid-air. They will hover briefly and kick the prey outward just as the fledgling arrives.
  • Large numbers are seen during migration. Over 11,000 were seen on one October day at Cape May Point, New Jersey.
  • Their common name comes from the very thin, exposed lower leg of this hawk.
  • A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Sharp-shinned Hawk

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X