The 9 Most Beautiful Hawks Of Ohio (+ Adorable Printable Pics)

According to the avian IQ index research, hawks are amongst the most intelligent birds. In addition to being intelligent, they are excellent hunters and possess excellent vision and hearing, and great territorial birds.

In North America, they are some of the fascinating birds, greatly used for bird games. ere which w Today, we will be looking at the hawks of Ohio.

There are nine species of hawks in Ohi0; below is the recap of the hawks’ life, their nature, feeding, life span, and attraction.

The 9 Common Hawks in Ohio

1. Red-Tailed Hawk


Botanical name: Buteo jamaicensis

The Red-Tailed Hawk is the most common and widely dispersed in North America and is known for its great adaptive nature.  

Also, Red-tailed hawks are the most common falconry hawk in the whole of the United States, and the second-largest Buteo hawks of North America.

  • Size: 18 to 26 in
  • Weight: 1.5 to 3.8 lb
  • Wingspan: 3 ft 5 to 4 ft 10 in

You can easily find them on tall trees, fence posts in open country, mostly in grasslands, croplands, and open forests. However, they are known to settle and live in sandy deserts, dense forests, and sometimes, urban areas.

Red-tailed hawks are adaptive in their feeding like they are inhabiting. They are predators that feed mainly on mammals, reptiles, birds, and rodents.  And, occasionally, they feed on amphibians and invertebrates. They are excellent hunters that usually hunt from high perch.

The average lifespan of a Red-tailed hawk is 25 years in the wild.

2. Sharp-Shinned Hawk


Scientific name: Accipiter striatus

The sharp-shinned hawk is the smallest hawk in North America; their male is as little as nine inches long. They live in stick nests in large conifers or big trees in the dense forests of Ohio.

  • Size: 9.1 to 15 in
  • Wingspan: 17 to 27 in
  • Weight (males): 2.9 to 7.7 oz.

Sharp-shinned hawks feed on small birds such as warblers, sparrows, and tits. In catching their prey, they use elements of surprise.  

Also, they are greatly adaptive to their dense vegetation.

However, they are gradually going into extinction due to indirect poisoning from pesticides. But great efforts have been put into place to preserve them, one was the ban of DDT.

You can easily spot them in open habitats, and during a flight in urban areas where they prey on garden feeders at your backyards.

The average life of Sharp-shinned hawks is three years in the wild.

3. Red-Shouldered Hawk


Botanical name: Buteo lineatus

Red-shouldered hawks are beautiful looking forest raptors that live among  woodlands and gardens near rivers and swamps in Ohio

  • Size:15 to 24 in
  • Weight: 1.2 to 1.5 lb
  • Wingspan: 35 to 50 in

Red-shouldered is less adaptive in terms of habitation like the Red-tailed hawks. They only live near swarms and rivers, and as such, they are gradually going into extinction because of the massive destruction of their habitat.

However, when displaced, they go towards the woods near human habitations and suburban areas.

The red-shouldered hawk’s primary food is rodents. Its favorite prey is voles, gophers, moles, and chipmunks. Sometimes, they feed on amphibians, reptiles, crustaceans, birds, fish, and large insects. They can even take large prey like squirrels and rabbits. They are incredibly good at hunting as they hunt from a distance.

The average life span of a Red-shouldered hawk is between 15 to 19 years in the wild.

4. Broad-Winged Hawk


Scientific name: Buteo platypterus

A broad-Winged hawk is a small to medium-sized raptor with short, broad wings, an uncommon appearance to most hawks. Also, they are popularly known for their high-pitched whistling call. They are mostly seen in Ohio between April and August when they come to breed.

  • Size: 13 to 17 in
  • Weight: 9.3 to 19.8 oz
  • Wingspan: 29 to 39 in

Broad-winged hawks breed in the northeast of the United States, migrating south to Mexico and Brazil for the winter.

You can find them nesting in forests near open fields, rivers, and wetlands.

Broad-winged hawks feed primarily on small mammals, especially rodents such as voles, shrews, and chipmunks. Secondarily, they feed on reptiles, amphibians, nesting cardinals and other small birds. During the winter, they feed on insects and crustaceans.

They have been a decline in the population of broad-winged hawks due to the deforestation of their coveted forest habitats.

The average lifespan of a Broad-winged hawk is 12 years in the wild.

5.  Cooper’s Hawk

Scientific name: Accipiter cooperii

Cooper’s hawk is a medium-sized hawk that lives in a wide range of habitats, ranging from mixed forests to farmlands, woodlands, floodplains and coniferous forests.

  • Size: 14 to 20 in
  • Weight: 11.9 to 1.248 lb)
  • Wingspan: 24 to 39 in

The Cooper’s hawk is an agile, bold raptor known as a striker; they are aggressive in hunting. Cooper’s hawks prey on small to medium-sized birds, including small mammals and reptiles.

Formally, there was a decline in their population from direct poisoning, shooting, and trapping due to competition in which humans use it for game birds. After a while, indirect pesticide poisoning became a major declining agent. Currently, the ban of DDT pesticides by the government has helped stabilize their population.

The average life span of Cooper’s hawks is between 10 to 12 years in the wild.

6. Northern Goshawk


Scientific name: Accipiter gentilis

The Northern Goshawk is one of the biggest, fiercely territorial and most aggressive American raptors. They go as far as to attack humans that come close to their nests.

  • Size: 18 to 27 in
  • Weight: 0.8 to 4.9 lb
  • Wingspan: 35 to 50 in

You can easily spot them in Ohio’s among deciduous hardwood forests and large coniferous tracts. The Northern goshawks build their nests in the forest’s tallest tree of the dominant tree type.  

Northern goshawks are aggressive hunters that prey on large birds and small to medium-sized mammals. They feed mainly on squirrels, rabbits, and hares.

Deforestation is one of the greatest causes of the decline in the population of Northern goshawks.

The average lifespan of a Northern goshawk is 11 years in the wild.

7.  Northern Harrier


Scientific name: Circus hudsonius

The northern harrier is a large, slender hawk known for its incredibly long wings and long tail.

  • Size: 16–20 in
  • Weight: 12 to 19 oz
  • Wingspan: 38–48 in

Northern Harriers breed in the northernmost parts of the continent before migrating towards the south for winter. You can easily find them in open habitats such as fields, prairies, grasslands, and wetlands.

They build their nest on the ground in dense vegetation.

Additionally, Northern harriers primarily prey on small mammals.  They occasionally feed on birds, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.

The average lifespan of Northern harriers is 16 years in the wild.

8. Rough-Legged Hawk


Scientific name: Buteo lagopus

Rough-Legged Hawk is a large, brown hawk that lives in open habitats such as deserts, fields, and prairies in Ohio.

  • Size: 18–24 in
  • Weight: 1.3 to 3.7 lb
  • Wingspan: 47 to 60 in.

Rough-Legged Hawk makes their nests on cliff ledges and rocky outcrops.

Additionally, Rough-legged hawks feed on rodents and other small mammals and birds. Also, they feed on insects and carrion. They also steal the prey of other birds. They usually hunt from a high pitch or when soaring.

The average lifespan of a Rough-Legged Hawk is 2 years, with a maximum of 18 years in the wild.

9. Swainson’s Hawk

Scientific name: Buteo swainsoni

Swainson’s hawk is known after the British naturalist William Swainson. This hawk is popularly known as the locus gawk due to the fact that they are predominantly insectivorous. And you are happened to spot it in Ohio; you will see it foraging for insects on the ground.

  • Size: 17–22 in
  • Weight: 1.8 lb to 2.5 lb
  • Wingspan: 46–54

Swanson’s hawks are rare in Ohio. Most of its species breed in western and central parts of the continent and migrate to South America for the winter.

You can easily find them in open habitats such as grasslands, deserts, and prairies. They build their nests in isolated trees near the canopy. They also nest among bushes on the grounds, shrubs, and along cliff hedges and river banks.

As insectivorous hawks, they primarily feed on grasshoppers and locusts. Sometimes they feed on crickets and other insects as determined by seasonal availability.

They prey on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. when breeding

However, there has been a decline in Swainson’s hawk population due to habitat loss, indirect pesticide poisoning, and other harmful agricultural practices.

Swainson’s hawk has an average lifespan of 17 years in the wild.

FAQs on Hawks in Ohio

What is the most common bird in Ohio?

Red-tailed Hawk is the most common hawks in Ohio with a population of over 2 million nesting hawks in North America. It accounts for about 90% of the global Red-tailed Hawk population.

Can a hawk pick up a 20-pound dog?

According to Pat Silovsky, the Director of the Milford Nature Center in Junction City, Kansas, there have been reports of hawks and owls hunting and carrying tiny dogs, but this is a rare occurrence as hawks of prey cannot carry anything heavier than their body weight.

Watch More Most beautiful Hawks In Ohio | Video


I hope you loved and found this article educative. For further information, check out this “12 Most Beautiful Small Brown Birds.”

Leave a Comment