How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area? +10 Amazing Hawk Migration Facts

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

Like you i have always wondered how long hawks stay in one place, if they migrate and how far they migrate. then i researched it.

I found out that the short answer to this question is that it depends. Hawks migrate long distances, but they can also stay in one place all year, The amount of time a hawk stays in one area depends on how much food there is to eat and what type of hawk it is.

Hawks are birds of prey, which means they hunt and eat other animals. Most hawks live between three and five years, with a few species reaching up to 20 years.

Most of the hawks in North America are migratory, meaning they move from one place to another when the seasons change. They usually migrate the same path every year and stay at the same place for a certain amount of time.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?
How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

The most common types of hawks in North America are red-tailed, Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks. Red-tailed hawks generally stay in one area all year long, while Cooper’s hawks have a more flexible lifestyle and may not migrate as far as other species. Sharp-shinned hawks usually do not stay in one area for very long because they need more space to hunt than other species do.

Red-tailed hawks are large birds with brown bodies and reddish-brown tails that look like feathers from a distance but are actually

Like most birds, hawks are creatures of habit, which means that many hawks will stick around their habitat for several years or even their whole lifetime.
Some will stick to their nests year after year, while others will build new ones when needed. This blog post looks at how long hawks stay in one area and the area they prefer most.

How long do hawks stay in one area?

Some red-tailed hawks may stay in one area the entire year, while others may migrate hundreds of miles south where food is more available and the weather is warmer. These hawks do not mate for life; however, they may return to the same nest year after year.

The nests are easily seen from below, as these birds take advantage of large trees or cliffs to build their nests. Some birds have been known to nest on telephone poles or buildings in urban areas.

Red-tailed hawks prefer to eat small mammals such as rabbits, mice and squirrels. They will also hunt small birds or reptiles if necessary. Red-tailed hawks have keen eyesight and can spot prey from hundreds of feet above ground. This allows them to locate food without having to walk around searching for it.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?
How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

Most hawks stay in one area but not all of them. But why would a hawk want to stay in one place for long? If you want to know, here is why most hawks remain in one place:

  • Territorial behavior is one of the ways hawks display dominance, which is why they stay in one area for a long.
    They naturally love to boss their territories, around 200 meters – 30 kilometers. Most hawks stay around where they were born because they spent their early age and most of their lives there.
  • Mates And Nesting Sites: Naturally, hawks’ mates stay together for life, but they usually mate during the breeding season. So, they typically reuse the same nest every year. They typically prefer staying in the same area for years when they find a suitable mate.
  • Hunting Habit: Hawks are not like other raptors that soar to find prey. Hawks love to wait and observe silently and suddenly dive-bomb to grab their game. They can keep for hours, even up until six hours or more, before they find and catch prey.
  • No Pressure To Migrate: Hawks can eat all kinds of small rodents, birds, turtles, toads, and even fish. They do eat carcasses sometimes. That is the reason they are not under pressure to migrate.

What can cause hawks to migrate?

Hawks remain in one area for a long time, usually all year. However, hawks, like other birds, can migrate. This can be at the behest of a change in the weather, food supply, or other factors. Hawks migrate to find food and water.  They also may migrate for different reasons, such as the arrival of a new brood or the change of a season.

What is the typical habitat of a hawk?

A hawk is a bird of prey that usually lives in deserts, fields, and the arctic. Sometimes they can be found in tropical, humid areas or tropical, moist areas with many preys.
Hawks can be found in various places, ranging from areas with few trees to places near lakes and oceans. They have lived in jungles and deserts, grasslands, and tropical forests. Hawks are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Most species of hawks prefer wooded habitats that provide a good spot for them to watch over their hunting ground. They can also be found in places like Central America, the West Indies, and Jamaica.

Do Hawks Return to the Same Nest Every Year?

If you see a hawk in the same tree year after year, it very well could mean that this is where he lives. Most hawks return to the same nest year after year and make repairs to update their homes. Sometimes, the nests become unusable due to storms or extreme weather, but once a hawk has found the perfect spot, he tends to stay there for as long as possible.

Not all hawks are built this way; some hawks build a new nest in a new place every year. According to Science Encyclopedia, a red-shouldered hawks couple and offspring stayed in the same area and used their nest for 45 years.

Do Cooper Hawks Return to the Same Nest Every Year?

As you probably guessed by its name, the Cooper hawk is a bird of prey. Like most hawks, this species prefers to eat other birds. That is why you may come across one near an open field or other bird-filled locations. And in its nesting season, these raptors will do their best to keep trespassers away from their nests.

Cooper hawks return to the same area for breeding and nesting every year. They usually build new nests every year but sometimes look at abandoned nests of red-tailed hawks or crows and use one if it suits them. You can find their nests in evergreen forests and some suburban tree stands that offer a bit of privacy and decent foliage above.

Do Harris’s Hawks Return to the Same Nest Every Year?

Two facts about Harris’s hawks make them unique. They are non-migratory, so they always stay in the same area. Also, they can breed all year long, so a pair will typically use the same nest repeatedly.

Do Red-Tailed Hawks Return to the Same Nest Every Year?

The red-tailed hawk is known for its adaptability. This bird can live in almost any habitat, from tropical rainforests to deserts. These hawks are considered widespread throughout the United States, Central America, and northern South America.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?
How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

They are also a highly adaptive species, meaning they can alter their behaviors to thrive in various environments.  Red-tailed hawks are known for having a steady nest and parenting life. They form permanent pairs that mate to produce eggs every single year. The birds will return to the same nest each year until it is too worn down or not safe enough.

What do hawks do when they do not migrate?

Overall, most hawks will remain in one spot throughout the year if they can get adequate food; hawks only migrate when they cannot find enough food or when their food source migrates. During the day, hawks will perch in a tree, frequently in an elevated position.

The birds that don’t migrate tend to stay put in their breeding ranges, or they may expand their range slightly. In fact, some birds who do not migrate will move closer to humans during the winter.

Hawks that remain in one area rely on their ability to hunt food in the winter and take advantage of whatever is available. They are also known to steal food from other animals, and even other hawks.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?
How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

Birds that do not migrate have a more difficult time finding food and water during winter months than those who travel south for warmer climates and easier access to prey. However, those that do not migrate are more likely to survive because they are familiar with their territory, know where the best hunting spots are and have established feeding routines.

Why Are Hawks Hanging Around My House?

By now, you may be wondering, “If hawks avoid humans, why are hawks hanging around my house?” Hawks often prefer to nest and hunt high above in tall trees and similar spots that allow them to view the ground below. Not all hawks will always hunt from such perches; however, when it comes to finding small prey or when the wind or rain may make it difficult for them to hover, you may find them around your home. If your yard is a good place for hawks to see what is happening below with little interference, or you have a lot of small birds in your backyard, they may use it as a temporary hunting post now and then.


Many people are curious about how long hawks stay in one area, and the short answer is that it varies based on numerous factors.
The average duration of hawks staying in one area is about 3 to 4 years, but they may stick around much longer if they find an excellent nest location.
A nest site is where they are comfortable with the surroundings and have had successful breeding over several years, so they usually stick around if this is the case.

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