Sharp-Shinned Hawk

In captivity, sharp-shinned hawks can live up to 13 years. However, in the wild, this number is significantly reduced to 3 years!
Sharp-Shinned Hawk Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Accipiter striatus
Sharp-Shinned Hawk Physical Characteristics
Grey, Black, White
700 000 to 1 million
3 to 13 years
Top speed
60 mph
3 to 8 oz
Sharp-Shinned Hawk Distribition

The sharp- shinned hawk comes from a little team of hawks called “birdhawks,” which contains 3 of the tiniest hawk species.

These hawks have to do with the exact same dimension as a blue jay and occupy thick woodlands throughout the Caribbean Islands, North, South, and Central America.

They obtain their name from the presence of a sharp, pressed keel on the leading side of its legs. The majority of info gathered regarding the sharp- shinned hawk takes place throughout movement due to the fact that they are extremely deceptive birds and inhabit thick plants throughout the reproducing period.

Nonetheless, they control the skies of many seaside and inland view websites throughout movement period and are among one of the most usual discoveries. Furthermore, citizens commonly see them checking out yard bird feeders to locate target.

They gained a poor credibility in the birding neighborhood as a result of their cravings for songbirds and had extremely little defense from human risks till the 20th Century.

These intense little hawks have brief rounded wings with lengthy slim tails. They have huge eyes and lengthened center toes that assist catch mobile target.

3 Extraordinary Sharp- Shinned Hawk Realities!

  • Female sharp- shinned hawks are bigger than the males, and the distinction in dimension figures out the dimension of their target. Males normally capture smaller sized animals, which they earn for their nestlings. Nonetheless, once the chicks begin to expand, they change to the bigger target their mom earns. Prior to returning the dish to the nest, Male sharp- shinned hawks will normally eliminate and eat the head.
  • Sharp- shinned hawks have actually lengthened center toes with shark talons that assist spike and hold quickly- relocating target. They are so active that these hawks have actually been recognized to get to right into cord mesh bird catches to get little target within.
  • The recentlies established can still count on their moms and dads for food for numerous weeks. The grownups will normally go down a dead dish right into the nest in the beginning; nonetheless, as the recentlies established begin to reveal some ability, the moms and dads will certainly start to pass online target to them while airborne. Lastly, they will certainly provide the recentlies established a caution telephone call and anticipate them to technique and get the target out of their talons.

Where to Locate the Sharp- Sinned Hawk

The sharp- shinned hawk occupies largely forested locations around Central America, The United States And Canada, South America, and the Caribbean Islands.

They can be discovered in nations like:

  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Argentina
  • Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • The Plurinational States of; Brazil
  • Canada
  • Cayman Islands
  • Colombia
  • Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • USA
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • Bermuda
  • Jamaica
  • Virgin Islands, U.S

They like to occupy forests and woodland areas, consisting of wide- leaved and coniferous trees. Sharp- shinned hawks like moderate temperature levels and commonly move southern to warmer environments for the wintertime. Furthermore, they can fly at elevations of 960 to 9840 feet yet, if required, can go as high as 13,000 feet.


These creative little hawks nest within little groves of thick evergreen trees with clearings up close by. They construct their nests with slim branches, bark, and plant. Their nests usually gauge 20 to 25 inches throughout.

For framework, they will normally put a straight branch versus the major trunk of the evergreen. Although sets commonly go back to the exact same nesting location, they extremely hardly ever make use of the exact same nest.

Sharp- Shinned Hawk Scientific Name

The sharp- shinned hawk’s scientific name is Accipiter striatus They come from the Order Accipitriformes, that includes numerous diurnal predators like eagles, vultures, hawks, and kites, yet leaves out falcons.

Sharp- shinned hawks create component of among 3 households within the family Accipitridae Participants consist of little to huge birds with connected costs and similar diet regimens.

Their usual name is a sharp- shinned hawk, and it’s stemmed from the sharp, pressed keel on each of their legs.

There are 10 subspecies, that include:

  • A. s. chionogaster
  • A. s. erythronemius
  • A. s. fringilloides
  • A. s. madrensis
  • A. s. perobscurus
  • A. s. striatus
  • A. s. suttoni
  • A. s. velox
  • A. s. venator
  • A. s. ventralis

Dimension and Appearance

Male sharp- shinned hawks are smaller sized than the females, determining 9 to 11 inches long, evaluating 3 to 4 oz, with a wingspan of 17to 23 inches. Females are normally 30% longer than males and two times their weight. They gauge 11 to 15 inches long, evaluate in between 5.5 and 8 ounces, and have a wingspan of 23 to 27 inches.

These dimensions were extracted from the north team; nonetheless, the contrast is extremely similar to the rest subspecies.

Grownup sharp- shinned hawks have short, wide wings and a tool- size tail with grayish black bands. Nonetheless, the suggestion of their tails differs among people. They can be somewhat rounded or scratched via the square.

Sharp- shinned hawks have long, slim legs, yellow in shade. Furthermore, they have a black connected expense with a yellow-colored cere.

Young sharp-shinned hawk standing on freshly killed bobwhite quail
Sharp- shinned hawks spike their target with their lengthened toes with sharp talons.Agami Picture Agency/Shutterstock. com

Movement Pattern and Timing

The sharp- shinned hawk is among 26 North American raptors that exercise partial movement. Relying on their place, some populaces move, while others do not. This creates overlap in between reproduction and non- reproducing locations.

For instance, the sharp- shinned hawk that occupies the North boreal woodlands of Canada is a lot more migratory than southerly populaces.

When moving, the sharp- shinned hawk will certainly desert their nesting areas and reproducing premises for 5 to 7 months. Most of North American Sharp- shinned hawks invest their winter seasons in the warmer areas of The United States and Canada; nonetheless, some populaces move over hundreds of miles to Central America and the West Indies.

Surprisingly, sharp- shinned hawks prevent going across over substantial water resources. If there is a water obstacle in their method, they will certainly return the method they came till they locate an alternate course.

Although this is a deceptive species, they are one of the most typically spotted Accipiter at North American watch websites throughout the migratory period. While they are normally singular when moving, it is not unusual to see them in little teams, consisting of various other hawk species like:

  • Red- trailed Hawk
  • Broad- winged Hawk
  • American Kestrels

Migratory Patterns

Migratory patterns can vary in between grownups and juveniles. For instance, juveniles appear in numbers along the seaside locations while similar varieties of grownups and juveniles move inland.

Researchers have not determined why their courses vary. Nonetheless, one concept recommends that juveniles aren’t as solid and are quickly blown off training course contrasted to grownups, which results in the weak people looking for a much easier course on the coastline.

A 2nd concept appears a lot more possible and recommends that the seaside course offers the juveniles with a wealth of songbird target.

Juveniles have a tendency to move prior to the grownups in the fall months and normally fly further southern than their older equivalents. This is a distinction that usually arises in partial travelers.

There are additionally distinctions in sexes when movement happens. For instance, males will certainly move in advance of females despite age or class.

Furthermore, females have a tendency to preserve their power and move over much shorter ranges contrasted to males. Nonetheless, this is not the only factor. Due to the fact that females are bigger, they are a lot more leading due to the fact that they have the initial quote on sources and pressure weak people to move additionally.

Actions, Reproduction, and Molting

Sharp- shinned hawks are extremely deceptive as a result of the thick plants they occupy, so a lot of their actions patterns were reasoned throughout movement. Fortunately, sharp- shinned hawks are among one of the most usual discoveries throughout this period, and a great deal of info has actually been recorded throughout the years.


Unlike eagles that swoop know their target airborne, sharp- shinned hawks track their target from a tree or thick plants. When the animal obtains close sufficient, it will certainly strike.

Furthermore, they are knowledgeable seekers that can browse via thick thickets, yet this often comes with a cost. Speeding up via thick plants commonly results in major injuries.

Sharp- shinned hawks like consuming numerous songbirds like:

  • Sparrows
  • Finches
  • Nuthatches
  • Timber- warblers
  • Wrens
  • Tits
  • Yeast Infections
  • Icterids
  • Flickers
  • American Robins

Due to the fact that males are smaller sized, they have a tendency to go with smaller sized target like the timber warblers, and sparrow, while females usually target bigger birds like flickers and American Robins This is excellent for consistency in between the sexes, as they do not complete for the exact same food.

Sharp- shinned hawks are extremely smart and will certainly range out bird feeders in yards and strike huge teams to raise their probabilities. Furthermore, they will certainly make the effort to tweeze the plumes off their target prior to consuming.

These hawks do not just eat birds; they additionally such as to eat

  • Rodents
  • Lizards
  • Frogs
  • Snakes
  • Huge insects


Mating Actions Monogamy
Mating Period March– June
Incubation Duration 1 month
Age of Self-reliance 2 months
Female Call Chicken
Male Name Tiercel
Child Call Eyas
Variety Of Eggs 3 to 8

Accumulating info regarding the sharp- shinned hawk throughout reproducing period is testing due to the fact that they are rarely every seen over the woodland cover. What appears is that these predators like to nest in grooves of thick evergreen trees, usually with clearings up close by.

Their nests gauge in between 2- to 25 inches in size and are made from slim branches, bark chips, and plant. Furthermore, they will certainly construct their nests on a straight branch versus the major trunk for even more assistance.

While sets normally go back to the exact same nesting place yearly, it is very not likely they will certainly make use of the exact same nest; rather, they will certainly construct a brand-new one. The female will certainly breed their 4 or 5 egg clutches over 30 to 32 days. After the sharp- shinned hawk eggs have actually hatched out, the female will certainly remain and brood with the eyas for around 2 weeks while the males head out to quest.

When brooding mores than, the female will certainly share searching responsibilities with the male. Nonetheless, the eyas do not throw away whenever and leave the nest in between 24 and 27 days old. Adolescent males create faster than females and usually leave the nest initially.

For a month after the hawks fledge, the juveniles will certainly remain near to each various other. Their moms and dads will certainly still assist with food, yet it’s very little, compeling the recentlies established to discover to quest separately.

Fortunately for them, they fledge at the exact same time as songbirds, making it much easier for the juveniles to capture their favored target.


Throughout the fall months, adolescent sharp- shinned hawks are still in full quill and have yet to molt. Their initial experience with molting just happens the adhering to April and lasts throughout the summer season. Bird fanatics commonly blunder the adolescent’s disallowed- like flank plumes for the disallowed bottom plumes of a grown-up hawk due to the fact that they look so similar. Still, they will not create their brand-new grown-up plumes till the summer season.


In bondage, sharp- shinned hawks can meet 13 years. Nonetheless, in the wild, this number is dramatically lowered to 3 years! However, threats consist of searching, obtaining struck by automobiles, flying right into structures, and all-natural predators,

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

Sharp- shinned hawks are provided since Least Concern on IUCN’s Redlist due to the fact that their numbers have really boosted considering that the 1970s.

Although there is no clear- reduced information on their population dimension, it is approximated that there more than 1 million sharp- shinned hawks worldwide.

While that is exceptional information, the depressing truth is that they will at some point shed their environment many thanks to logging, as sharp- shinned hawks like reproducing in thick woodlands, which lessen every day.

Among their greatest risks was the abuse of DDT in between 1940 and 1970. DDT is a pesticide that has actually created destructive results on animals and their environments. This poisonous chemical was accountable for substantial decreases in the sharp- shinned hawk population throughout this moment.

Fortunately, it came to be prohibited to make use of DDT in the 1970s, and the sharp- shinned hawk population recouped and is prospering.

What Consumes the Sharp Shinned Hawk?

However, sharp- shinned hawks are not on top of the food cycle, and they require to be skeptical of bigger predators, which can make a fast dish of them. These predacious birds consist of:

  • Northern Goshawk
  • Copper’s Hawk
  • Peregrine Falcon


It is difficult to figure out the population dimension of the sharp- shinned hawk due to the fact that they are such deceptive birds and just partly move. Due to the fact that a lot of the info regarding this species is gathered throughout movement, it makes it harder due to the fact that not every one of the populaces move. Nonetheless, their population is approximated to be in between 700 000 to a million birds!

Up Following


  1. Hawk Watch, Available here:
  2. Wikipedia, Available here:
  3. All About Birds, Available here:
  4. Hawk Mountain, Available here:
  5. Birdfeeder Hub, Available here:
  6. Animal Bio, Available here:
  7. IUCN Redlist, Available here:

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