Sharp-shinned hawk

COMMON NAME: Sharp-shinned hawkSharp-shinned Hawk

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Accipiter striatus

IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS:
Very similar to the Cooper’s hawk, but about one-third smaller. The tail of the sharp-shinned hawk is squared instead of rounded.

RANGE:
Found throughout the forested regions of North America through Central America into Argentina and Brazil. A highly migratory species, it leaves the northern United States in September and winters in Central America. A few sharp-shinned hawks are seen around bird feeders in Minnesota every winter.

HABITAT:
Like other accipiters, this is a bird of woodlands where it nests and hunts.

NESTING:Sharp-shinned Hawk baby
The sharp-shinned hawk builds a stick nest in deciduous trees.

FEEDING:
Feeds primarily on small songbirds.

RAPTOR CENTER DATA:
An uncommon patient, but regularly seen in fall during the migration. Like other accipiters, it needs isolation, is extremely quick, and can be very difficult to keep in a cage.

CONSERVATION NOTES:
One of the most common hawks in Minnesota, seen by the tens of thousands during migration.