Have you ever seen majestic hawks soaring through the sky and wondered what types of hawks are in Wisconsin? Wisconsin is home to various hawks, each with unique characteristics and behaviors.
Hawks are predatory birds known for their keen eyesight and impressive hunting abilities.
They play a vital role in the ecosystem by controlling rodents and other small animal populations.
Wisconsin’s diverse habitats provide a perfect environment for many species of hawks to thrive.
Whether you are an avid bird watcher or simply curious about the hawks in your area, understanding the different types of hawks in Wisconsin can enhance your appreciation for these magnificent creatures.
Our article will explore Wisconsin’s most common types of hawks and their distinctive features.
1. Northern Harrier
The Northern Harrier, also known as the Marsh Hawk, is one of Wisconsin’s most common types of hawk.
These birds of prey are easily recognizable by their long, narrow wings and distinctive white rump patch.
Northern Harriers are skilled hunters, using their keen eyesight and hearing to locate prey such as small mammals, birds, and reptiles.
They often fly low over open fields and marshes, gliding and hovering as they search for food.
Despite their impressive hunting abilities, Northern Harriers are considered a threatened species in Wisconsin due to habitat loss and degradation.
Conservation efforts are underway to protect these beautiful types of hawks in Wisconsin and their habitat.
2. Northern Goshawk
The Northern Goshawk is a large, powerful hawk that can be found in Wisconsin.
They are known for their impressive hunting skills and can be identified by their slate-grey feathers, piercing red eyes, and distinct white eyebrow stripe.
These types of hawks in Wisconsin are known to be territorial and will fiercely defend their nesting sites, making them formidable predators in the wild.
In Wisconsin, the Northern Goshawk can be found in mature forests, where they hunt for prey like squirrels, rabbits, and other small mammals.
They are also known to prey on other birds, including other species of hawks.
Despite their impressive hunting skills, Northern Goshawks have faced habitat loss and other threats, making them a species of concern in some areas.
Nonetheless, their presence in Wisconsin is a testament to the state’s diverse and thriving wildlife population.
3. Broad-winged Hawk
The Broad-Winged Hawk is one of Wisconsin’s many types of hawks.
This medium-sized hawk is known for its distinctive, high-pitched call that can be heard throughout the state’s forested areas.
The Broad-Winged Hawk is known for its agility and speed, making it an impressive hunter.
In Wisconsin, the Broad-Winged Hawk is typically found in wooded areas, where it preys on small mammals such as mice, voles, and chipmunks.
This hawk is also known for its migratory habits. It travels thousands of miles yearly from its breeding grounds in Wisconsin and other parts of North America to its wintering grounds in Central and South America.
Despite its impressive hunting skills and migratory habits, the Broad-Winged Hawk is considered a species of special concern in Wisconsin due to habitat loss and other threats.
4. Cooper’s Hawk
Cooper’s Hawk is also one of the common types of hawks in Wisconsin.
These birds of prey are medium-sized, with a wingspan of up to 3 feet and a weight of around 1 pound.
They are known for their distinctive plumage, which features a blue-gray back, rusty-red breast, and black cap on their head.
Cooper’s Hawks are skilled hunters often found in wooded areas where they can use their agility to maneuver through trees and catch prey.
They primarily hunt small birds but are known to go after small mammals and reptiles.
Despite their hunting prowess, Cooper’s Hawks face threats from habitat loss and human activity, making it important for conservation efforts to protect their populations in Wisconsin and beyond.
5. Swainson’s Hawk
Swainson’s Hawk, also known as the Grasshopper Hawk, was one of the types of hawks in Wisconsin during its migration period.
These hawks are known for their unique hunting style, often hovering mid-air while searching for prey. They primarily feed on small mammals, birds, reptiles, and insects.
One unique characteristic of Swainson’s Hawks is their migration pattern.
They travel from their breeding grounds in western North America to their wintering grounds in South America, covering up to 14,000 miles.
During their migration, they can be spotted in Wisconsin between late August and early September.
Swainson’s Hawks are a beautiful sight to see in the skies of Wisconsin, and their presence is a reminder of the natural beauty that can be found in the state.
6. Sharp-shinned Hawk
Sharp-Shinned Hawks are one of the most common types of hawks in Wisconsin.
These birds of prey are small, with adults typically measuring 10 to 14 inches in length. They are known for their agility and speed, which makes them excellent hunters.
Sharp-Shinned Hawks are often found in wooded areas, using their sharp talons to catch small prey such as mice, voles, and songbirds.
They are also known for their distinctive flight pattern, which involves quick, darting movements as they chase after their prey.
Despite their small size, these types of hawks in Wisconsin are powerful hunters and play an important role in maintaining the balance of the ecosystem in Wisconsin.
7. Red-shouldered Hawk
The Red-Shouldered Hawk is one of Wisconsin’s many types of hawks.
These birds of prey are known for their striking appearance, with reddish-brown feathers on their back and wings and distinctive black and white barring on their tail.
They also have a distinctive call, often a high-pitched, whistling scream.
Red-Shouldered Hawks are typically found in wooded areas near water, hunting for small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.
They are also known for their elaborate courtship displays involving aerial acrobatics and elaborate vocalizations.
While these types of hawks in Wisconsin were once threatened by habitat loss and hunting, conservation efforts have helped to stabilize their populations in Wisconsin and other parts of the United States.
8. Rough-legged Hawk
Wisconsin is home to various hawks, including the Rough-Legged Hawk.
This bird of prey is a winter visitor to the state, migrating from its breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra.
The Rough-Legged Hawk is known for its distinctive markings: dark belly, light-colored head, and wings.
It also has feathers on its legs, giving it the appearance of wearing pants.
The Rough-Legged Hawk is a skilled hunter, preying on small mammals such as voles and mice.
It can often be seen perched on telephone poles or hovering over open fields, using its keen eyesight to spot prey.
Despite its name, the Rough-Legged Hawk is quite gentle and is known for its calm demeanor when in captivity.
For birders and nature enthusiasts in Wisconsin, the Rough-Legged Hawk is a fascinating addition to the state’s diverse wildlife.
9. Ferruginous Hawk
Ferruginous Hawks are one of the types of hawks found in Wisconsin.
These birds of prey are known for their large size, with wingspans reaching up to four feet.
They are also known for their striking appearance, with their rusty-red feathers on their legs and underparts and white feathers on their backs and wings.
Ferruginous Hawks typically inhabit open grasslands and prairies, hunting for small mammals like rabbits and ground squirrels.
They are also known for their ability to take down larger prey, such as prairie dogs and jackrabbits.
Unfortunately, Ferruginous Hawks have experienced a decline in their population due to habitat loss and fragmentation.
Conservation efforts are underway to help protect these majestic types of hawks in Wisconsin and ensure their survival in Wisconsin and beyond.
10. Red-tailed Hawk
Hawks are a common sight in Wisconsin, and one of the most recognizable species is the Red-Tailed Hawk.
These birds of prey are known for their distinctive red tail feathers, which make them easy to spot in the sky.
Red-Tailed Hawks are one of the most common types of hawks in Wisconsin and can be found throughout the state in various habitats.
They are typically found in open areas such as fields, meadows, and marshes but can also be seen in wooded areas and along the edge of forests.
These hawks are skilled hunters, feeding on a diet of small mammals like voles, mice, and rabbits.
They are also known to hunt snakes, birds, and even insects. Red-Tailed Hawks are a year-round resident in Wisconsin and can often be seen perched on telephone poles or soaring high in the sky, searching for their next meal.
In conclusion, Wisconsin is home to various hawk species, including the Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and the Northern Harrier.
These majestic types of hawks in Wisconsin are crucial to maintaining a healthy ecosystem and play a vital role in controlling rodent populations.
Wildlife enthusiasts and bird watchers must take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety and protection of these remarkable creatures.
Through continued conservation efforts, we can ensure that these types of hawks in Wisconsin will continue to thrive for generations to come.