9 Species of Hawks in Ohio
With its lush woodlands, grasslands, and a number of other prominent rivers, Ohio provides a perfect environment for hawks. There are an estimated 25 different hawk species across the us , and every state has its own collection of hawk species counting on the climate and food sources that the hawks need. Many hawk species are migratory and should spend different parts of the year in several states, but several are year-round residents of Ohio.
Hawks are among nature’s most lethal hunters, with razor-sharp vision, acute hearing, and high-speed flying capability. They fall under the Accipitridae family, which incorporates hawks, eagles, kites, and vultures, and lots of form life-long pair bonds.
There are nine different species of hawk which will be found in Ohio, and if you’d wish to know more, read on for in-depth information about these magnificent animals.
1. Broad-Winged Hawk
Image Credit: Don Faulkner, Wikimedia Commons
. Scientific name: Buteo platypterus
. Lifespan: 10-14 years
. Wingspan: 29-39 inches
. Length: 13-17 inches
Broad-Winged Hawks are usually only found in Ohio throughout their breeding months, which lasts from April to August, after which they head south for the winter. this massive migration may be a spectacular sight, often with many thousands of hawks traveling directly in large groups called “kettles.”
They are small to medium-sized birds with short but broad wings that have a singular tapered appearance. They typically have dark brown plumage above with brown-barred, white plumage underneath, but there's also a lighter morph that has more white coloring. Their populations are unfortunately declining thanks to the shrinking forest habitats during which they thrive.
2. Cooper’s Hawk
Image Credit: Joe deSousa, Wikimedia Commons
. Scientific name: Cooper's hawk
. Lifespan: 10-12 years
. Wingspan: 24-39 inches
. Length: 14-20 inches
Named after the famed ornithologist, William Cooper, the Cooper’s Hawk is usually confused with the similar Sharp-Shinned Hawk but may be a good bit larger. they will be found during a large range of habitats, from mixed forests to woodlands, and build bulky nests high within the forks of trees. they're also commonly found in wooded suburban areas and are notorious for stalking bird feeders. The Cooper’s Hawk are often found year-round in Ohio.
They have a varied plumage, starting from blue-grey to brown-grey in color, with a creamy underside with red-brown bands. they need powerful, strong legs with thick talons, allowing them to hunt larger prey than most hawks. they're also exceedingly agile, fast, and aggressive hunters, feeding totally on small birds, mammals, and reptiles.
3. Northern Goshawk
Image Credit: Francesco Veronesi, Wikimedia Commons
. Scientific name: goshawk
. Lifespan: 10-12 years within the wild, up to 27 years in captivity
. Wingspan: 35-50 inches
. Length: 18-27 inches
The large, powerful Northern Goshawk is that the quintessential aerial predator, with menacing red eyes, a black beak, a dark brown back, and black-and-white striped front. they're known for being powerful hunters, employing a combination of concealment, unmatched agility, and high speed to ambush their prey, which incorporates a good sort of up to 500 different species. They typically breed north of Ohio in summer and may only be found within the state during the winter months.
They are a scarce species which will be difficult to identify because they nest high in trees. they're mainly found within the northern areas of Ohio, which is where you're more likely to identify one. confine mind that the Northern Goshawk may be a fiercely territorial animal and one among the foremost aggressive American Raptors and has even been known to attack humans within the protection of their nests.
4. marsh hawk
Image Credit: Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren, Wikimedia Commons
. Scientific name: Circus hudsonius
. Lifespan: 12-16 years
. Wingspan: 38-48 inches
. Length: 16-20 inches
The only Harrier species in North America, the marsh hawk may be a large hawk, with an exceptionally long wingspan and distinctively long tail. Their breeding grounds range as far north as Canada, but they're going to winter in Ohio and other southern states. Unlike most hawk species, Northern Harriers aren't monogamous and can mate with several females, sometimes up to 5 , during breeding season. they like open grasslands and wetlands over forests, and that they nest on the bottom in dense vegetation.
Northern Harrier males have dark grey upper plumage, and females are dark brown, with both having white plumage below with grey or brown banding.