Sharp-shinned Hawk

Accipiter striatus




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to light blue with brown markings

Number of Eggs:

4 - 5

Incubation Days:

34 - 35

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

10 - 60 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with strips of bark, grass, and coniferous needles.


Some migrate



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. Sexes are similar, although female is usually larger. Juvenile has browner upperparts, brown-streaked white underparts, and dark brown eyes that turn yellow with age.

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.

Breeding and Nesting

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Four to five brown marked, white to light blue eggs are laid in a large nest built of twigs and built on a low branch in a conifer or deciduous tree. Incubation is carried out by the female and ranges from 34 to 35 days.

Foraging and Feeding

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Diet consists of mostly small birds, but includes small mammals, lizards, and insects; female takes larger prey than male.


Sharp-shinned Hawk: Makes a shrill, high-pitched "kik, kik, kik."

Similar Species

Sharp-shinned Hawk: Cooper's Hawk is larger and has a longer, rounded tail.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X