Birds of Prey in the USA! (26 COMMON Species)


Table of Contents

What sorts of birds of prey can you discover in the USA?

common birds of prey and common raptors

This query is widespread, each for birders and non-birders alike. Raptors are widespread animals that are inclined to catch folks’s curiosity greater than most different species. Fortunately, in the USA, there are numerous species in all kinds of various habitats.

Right this moment, you’ll study 26 kinds of raptors that dwell in the USA!

Right here is how the under record is organized. Click on the hyperlink to leap straight to that part!

Do you want assist figuring out hawks?

Listed here are a couple of books and sources you should buy that can help!

Among the vary maps under have been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, printed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I take advantage of their web site OFTEN to be taught new details about birds!

#1. Purple-tailed Hawk

types of hawks in the united states

Purple-tailed Hawks are one of the vital prevalent birds of prey in the USA!

These giant raptors are sometimes seen on lengthy drives within the countryside, hovering within the sky or perched on a fence submit. The colour of a Purple-tailed Hawk’s plumage could be something from almost white to nearly black, so coloration shouldn’t be a dependable indicator. The easiest way to determine them is by on the lookout for their attribute purple tail. 🙂 

Purple-tailed Hawk Vary Map

Red-tailed Hawk Range Map

These hawks are extremely adaptable, and there’s no actual description of their most popular habitats as a result of they appear to be comfy in all places. I’ve seen Purple-tailed Hawks in quite a few locations, from the deep backcountry in Yellowstone Nationwide Park to city cities to my very own suburban yard! Decide a habitat, corresponding to pastures, parks, deserts, roadsides, rainforests, woodlands, fields, or scrublands, and also you’ll discover them thriving.

Purple-tailed Hawks have spectacular calls which can be simply recognized.

In actual fact, persons are so enamored with their screams, it’s widespread for administrators to make use of the sounds of a Purple-tailed Hawk to switch Bald Eagles that seem in films. In case you may have by no means heard one, Bald Eagles don’t make sounds that dwell as much as their look (placing it properly!)

Size: 18-26 inches / 45-65 cm

Weight: 1.5-3.5 lbs. / 700-1600 gm

Wingspan: 43-55 inches/ 110-140 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo jamaicensis

#2. Sharp-shinned Hawk

species of hawks in the united states

Sharp-shinned Hawks are one of many smallest birds of prey in the USA, and they’re extremely athletic and acrobatic. It’s widespread to see these raptors zipping by means of the woods or by your chook feeders in a blur of movement!

To determine these birds, search for bars of orange on their higher chest that fades in direction of the stomach and blue-gray again and wings. When they’re flying, their wings are comparatively brief and rounded, however with a protracted tail. Females are significantly greater than males.

Sharp-shinned Hawk Vary Map

Sharp-shinned Hawk Range Map

These raptors are widespread in forested areas in the USA. They’re most frequently seen round chook feeders, searching and preying on the songbirds that come to go to. These raptors are ambush predators, sitting patiently after which dashing out from cowl at excessive velocity to chase birds, which make up 90% of their food plan.

In my yard, I see them catching Mourning Doves probably the most.

Press PLAY under to listen to a Sharp-shinned Hawk!

One option to confirm you may have seen a Sharp-shinned Hawk is to pay attention for his or her sounds. People give a high-pitched shrill “kik-kik-kik” which is often repeated a number of instances.

Size: 9-13.5 inches / 23-37 cm

Weight: 3-8 oz / 82-220 gm

Wingspan: 16.5-26.5 inches / 42-68 cm

Scientific Title: Accipiter striatus

#3. Cooper’s Hawk

common hawks in the united states

These raptors are generally present in the USA in woods or on the sting of fields. Cooper’s Hawks are recognized for his or her flying agility. I see them usually at my home in high-speed chases by means of the cover going after their prey.

Cooper’s Hawk Vary Map

Cooper's Hawk Range Map

Due to their unbelievable flying talents, these raptors primarily eat songbirds and are widespread to see in backyards round chook feeders. At my feeding station, I’ve noticed these hawks preying on Purple-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, and Mourning Doves.

cooper vs sharp shinned hawk - types of hawks in the united states

Visually, a Cooper’s Hawk appears extremely just like the Sharp-shinned Hawk (#2). Their steely blue-gray look is almost an identical to the Sharp-shinned hawk, proper right down to the little black cap that each put on and the rufous coloured chest.

The BEST option to inform these hawks aside is to take a look at the scale distinction. Cooper’s are bigger than Sharp-shinneds. But when they’re airborne, good luck determining which one you’re observing!

Press PLAY under to listen to a Cooper’s Hawk!

The commonest sound a Cooper’s Hawk emits is an alarm name that seems like “kuck, kuck, kuck” or “cak-cak-cak.” Hear for a bassier sound than the higher-pitched Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Size: 13½-20 inches / 35-50 cm

Weight: 8-24 oz / 220-680 gm

Wingspan: 24½-35½ inches / 62-90 cm

Scientific Title: Accipiter cooperii

#4. Purple-shouldered Hawk

united states hawks

Distinctly marked, Purple-shouldered Hawks have a barred rufous chest, largely white underwings, a strongly banded tail, and naturally, purple shoulders which can be seen when perched.

Purple-shouldered Hawk Vary Map

Red-shouldered Hawk Range Map

Whereas Purple-tailed Hawks personal giant open areas, Purple-shouldered Hawks are primarily forest dwellers. Their favourite locations are woods with an open higher cover since this additional house permits them to hunt extra effectively. These raptors are additionally widespread in suburban areas the place homes have been combined into woodlands.

Watch a Purple-shouldered Hawk searching in my yard!

Check out the Bird Watching HQ YouTube channel HERE!

When searching, these raptors drop onto their prey immediately from overhead, making their searching fashion distinctive. You’ll be able to see this conduct completely above, as a Purple-shouldered Hawk tries to catch a squirrel in my yard! (Don’t fear, the hawk is unsuccessful.)

It’s widespread to listen to a Purple-shouldered Hawk earlier than you see one. Hear for a loud name that seems like “kee-ahh,” which is usually repeated a number of instances.

Size: 15-19 inches / 38-48 cm

Weight: 1.1-1.9 lbs. / 500-860 gm

Wingspan: 38-42 inches / 96-107 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo lineatus

#5. Broad-winged Hawk

broad winged hawk

The our bodies of Broad-winged Hawks are brief and stocky, which makes them completely tailored to life within the forest. These birds of prey dwell in the USA and are pretty widespread, however they aren’t usually seen as a result of they like spending their time within the deep woods away from people.

Broad-winged Hawk Vary Map

Broad-winged Hawk Range Map

Whereas these birds spend their summers right here in the USA, they fly south for the winters to Central America and South America. Broad-winged Hawks are in all probability finest recognized for his or her epic migrations every fall. It’s estimated that the common chook travels over 4,000 miles whole, and that’s simply ONE WAY, and so they have to finish this journey twice per 12 months.

These long-distance flyers usually journey south collectively, hovering on air currents, by the 1000’s! Getting the prospect to look at a “kettle” of Broad Winged Hawks is genuinely awe-inspiring, as you possibly can see within the video above!

Size: 13.5-17.5 inches / 34-44 cm

Weight: 16 oz / 450 gm

Wingspan: 33 inches / 84 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo platypterus

#6. Ferruginous Hawk

ferruginous hawks

Ferruginous Hawks are stunning raptors that dwell within the open deserts and prairies of the West. One of many largest birds of prey in the USA, they’ve lengthy broad wings and a large grey, rusty, or white tail.

These hawks have two colour varieties chances are you’ll observe.

  • The mild morph birds have a rusty brown again and pale underparts.
  • The darkish morph people are darkish brown and chestnut-colored on each their again, chest, and stomach. Darkish morph birds are a lot rarer to see than mild ones.

Ferruginous Hawk Vary Map

Ferruginous Hawk Range Map

Ferruginous Hawks have a reasonably restricted food plan and rely largely upon small mammals for meals. Apparently, they’ve a number of searching methods they deploy. My favourite being their strategy of working or hopping on the bottom after their prey!

Their alarm name seems like “kree-a” or “kaah,” and is often given when defending territory or frightened. Some folks suppose it sounds just like a gull.


Size: 20-27 inches / 51-69 cm

Weight: 2-5 lbs. / 900-2270 gm

Wingspan: 47-60 inches / 1.2-1.5 meters

Scientific Title: Buteo regalis  

#7. Swainson’s Hawk

swainsons hawk

Swainson’s Hawks are a raptor of the west and might usually be noticed hovering or perched on fence posts, phone poles, or timber in open areas.

These birds of prey arrive every April in the USA and spend their summers breeding and elevating their younger right here. In the direction of the tip of August or starting of September, they start a LONG distance journey to Argentina! In the event you’re retaining rating, that’s round 6,000 miles and takes as much as two months. And keep in mind, they make this journey twice per 12 months.

Swainson’s Hawk Vary Map

Swainson's Hawk Range Map

As they’re migrating, Swainson’s Hawks usually kind giant “kettles,” the place they be part of with different species corresponding to Broad-winged Hawks and Turkey Vultures. In sure spots the place pure funnels happen, it’s doable to see THOUSANDS of raptors hovering collectively without delay, which resembles an precise river of birds.

The decision of the Swainson’s Hawk is a harsh alarm name that seems like “kreeeeer,” which regularly lasts 2-3 seconds.

Size: 18-22 inches / 46-56 cm

Weight: 24-48 oz / 680-1360 gm

Wingspan: 46-54 inches / 117-137 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo swainsoni

#8. Tough Legged Hawk

rough legged hawk

Tough-legged Hawks, that are additionally referred to as Tough-legged Buzzards and Tough-legged Falcons, spend their summers dwelling and breeding on the Arctic tundra. You’ll be able to solely see these giant raptors within the continental United States throughout winter once they migrate south. Not like most hawks, this species has feathers all the best way right down to their toes, which helps preserve them heat within the chilly environments they selected to dwell.

Tough-legged Hawk Vary Map

Rough-legged Hawk Range Map

Search for these chunky, giant raptors in open areas. They’ve a novel searching fashion the place they hover whereas going through the wind on the lookout for meals. In actual fact, they’re one of many few birds of prey that actually hovers in place.

These raptors are sometimes silent, besides they make a mewing sound close to the nest. (Hear under!)

Size: 18.5-23.5 inches / 46-59 cm

Weight: 25-49 oz / 715-1400 gm

Wingspan: 52-54 inches / 132-138 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo lagopus

#9. Osprey


The very first thing it is advisable find out about Ospreys is they’re NOT hawks! They don’t seem to be eagles both and, scientifically talking, have been given their very own Household (Pandionidae) and Genus (Pandion), separate from all different birds of prey.

Although Ospreys should not hawks, they actually look just like one. These raptors have additionally been given nicknames, corresponding to Sea Hawk, River Hawk, and Fish Hawk, which trace on the affiliation between an Osprey and hawk.

Osprey Vary Map

Osprey Range Map

If you consider an Osprey, it’s best to consider fish, as a result of that’s what these birds eat 99% of the time. Even an Osprey’s talons are completely tailored for catching fish. In the event you take an in depth look, you will notice they’re extraordinarily curved and even intersect when absolutely closed, which makes them completely designed for holding onto slippery fish!

Due to their specialised food plan, you’ll virtually all the time discover Ospreys dwelling, breeding, and elevating their younger round water in the USA. Mating for all times, it’s widespread for them to make use of human-made nesting platforms. In the event you dwell close to a big physique of water, I like to recommend putting in one to see in the event you can appeal to a nesting pair!

Hear for Ospreys subsequent time you’re round a big physique of water. Their alarm name is a sequence of brief high-pitched whistles that descend in pitch. The noise has been in comparison with a teapot taken off a range.

Size: 20-25.5 inches / 50-65 cm

Weight: 3-4.4 lb. / 1.4-2 kg

Wingspan: 59-71 inches / 150-180 cm

Scientific Title: Pandion haliaetus

#10. Nice Horned Owl

owl species that live in north america

The Nice Horned Owl is usually coloured with an orangey face with black and white contrasting traces that resemble a tiger. Because the goal of most predators is to not be seen, it has horizontal bars on its underside to appear to be tree branches if you’re trying up, and mottles of “tree colours” on prime to look “leafy” in the event you’re trying from above.

These raptors are fairly giant and look fierce! To determine, search for their lengthy tufts of feathers that resemble ears on their head. Additionally, take a look at their intimidating eyes. I do know I might not wish to have a staring contest with one!

Nice Horned Owl Vary Map

great horned owl range map

Nice Horned Owls are widespread birds of prey in the USA.

Each sexes hoot, however males are lower-pitched than females. Males give territorial calls that may be heard a couple of miles away at night time. I don’t suppose there’s one other owl species that does hooting higher than a Nice Horned Owl!

A Nice Horned Owls’ sense of scent is so weak that they even assault and eat skunks. It’s not unusual for them, together with their nests and pellets, to scent of skunk.

#11. Barred Owl

owl species that live in north america

Barred Owls (aka the Hoot Owl), are an unthreatened, nocturnal species discovered within the jap United States. The title “barred” derives from the horizontal stripes of alternating mild brown and darkish brown on the wings, again, and tail.

Barred Owl Vary Map

barred owl range map

Barred Owls are the owl species that I’ve noticed probably the most within the wild. They’re extremely curious and inquisitive, and lots of instances will watch as you stroll previous them. Even when they get nervous as you method, sometimes they only fly off a bit to a different tree to proceed observing.

Barred Owls depend on mice and different small rodents, however eat absolutely anything made from meat! They’ll readily seize rats, rabbits, bats, squirrels, moles, minks, weasels, opossums, a wide range of birds, frogs, snakes, fish, turtles, and can even hunt round your nightly campfire to catch some candy, juicy bugs.

And talking of classical noises, their hoots are the basic sounds featured in films and scary Halloween tales. It’s straightforward to acknowledge their name because it seems like they’re asking, “Who cooks for you?Barred Owls will pontificate throughout sunlight hours too, and so they mate for all times.

#12. Jap Screech-Owl

types of owls in north america

Screech-owls might remind you {of professional} wrestlers since they’re brief, stocky, and haven’t any necks!. They weigh in at 4.2–8.6 oz. (120–244 g), 6.3– 9.8 in (16–25 cm) in size, and have a wingspan of 18–24 in (46–61 cm). These owls can both be gray or purple, with a couple of third of all people being purple.  

Jap Screech-owl Vary Map

eastern screech-owl range map

These small raptors are present in wooded areas in the USA. They don’t appear to thoughts folks an excessive amount of as they’re comfy nesting on prime of streetlamps, subsequent to busy roadways/highways, or inside areas in populated buildings.

Jap Screech-owls make a wide range of hoots, calls, and songs, however their hottest is an excellent pitched trill, usually referred to as a tremolo. The tremolo is utilized by pairs to maintain involved with one another and lasts between 3 to six seconds. I feel this tremolo name sounds lots like mating toads, and I generally get the 2 confused!

#13. Western Screech-Owl

types of owls in north america

As soon as upon a time, Western Screech-owls have been considered the identical chook because the Jap Screech-owl, however analysis has decided that they’re two distinct species. The Western selection ranges in weight from 3.5–11 oz. (100–300 grams), with a physique size of seven.5–10 inches (19–28 cm), and a wingspan of twenty-two–24 inches (55–62 cm).

Western Screech-owl Vary Map

western screech-owl range map

Western Screech-owls could be present in forests, however you’ll additionally discover them in suburban parkland, deserts, farm fields, and any primary shrubland. They’re a comparatively widespread chook of prey in the USA.

The first meals of a Western Screech-owl embody rats, mice, and birds. However they’re opportunistic hunters and also will eat fish, amphibians, and invertebrates, corresponding to crayfish, bugs, earthworms, and slugs. Apparently, they’ve been recognized to often pluck a trout out of the water at night time, or tackle one thing as giant as a duck or rabbit.

Western Screech-owl calls should not “screechy,” because the title recommend. The commonest sound is a reasonably quiet, nice trill (“hoo-hoo-hoo” or “cr-r-oo-oo-oo”), which hastens on the finish however maintains a continuing pitch.

#14. Snowy Owl

common owls in north america

Snowy Owls get my vote for probably the most stunning raptor in the USA! Their beautiful white plumage stops virtually everybody of their tracks, each birders and non-birders alike!

Now, that is one massive chook at 20.7–25.2 inches (52.5–64 cm) tall, a wingspan of 48–60 inches (1.2–1.5 meters), and with weights within the 3.2–4 lb. (1,465–1,800 gram) vary. Snowy Owls are largely white, however they do have horizontal darkish traces throughout their our bodies besides the face and breast. Apparently, people appear to get whiter with age.

Snowy Owl Vary Map

snowy owl range map

Snowy Owls migrate with the altering seasons. Throughout summer time, they mate and breed in arctic tundra. However when winter arrives, these birds come south.

You by no means know the way far south Snowy Owls will journey. Most winters, Snowy Owls solely seem as far down because the northern USA. However some years, there’s an “irruption” of Snowy Owls, and lots of extra birds than regular migrate south.

When defending their territory or trying to find a mate, males make a loud “hoo, hoo.” This hoot is so loud that it may be heard as much as 7 miles away on the tundra! Females not often hoot, however different noises (for each sexes) embody cackles, shrieks, hissing, and invoice snapping.

#15. Nice Grey Owl

common owls in north america

The Nice Grey Owl can also be recognized by many alternate names. How about Bearded Owl, Cinereous Owl, Lapland Owl, Phantom of the North, Sooty Owl, Spectral Owl, or Spruce Owl?

No matter you name it, this species is (lengthwise) one of many largest birds of prey in United States at 24–33 inches (61–84 cm) tall, with a wingspan of 5 toes (1.5 meters), and weighing in someplace between 1½–4 lb (580–1,900 grams). As you’ve in all probability guessed, this owl is predominantly gray coloured with alternating mild and darkish stripes.

Nice Grey Owl Vary Map

great gray owl range map

Gray Grey Owls NEVER construct nests. They only use ones that have been made by different massive birds. Speak about being environment friendly! Nevertheless, as soon as they declare a used nest, these owls will defend it courageously, even in opposition to black bears!

Their name is fairly distinctive, daring, and deep, which seems like “whooooo, woo, woo, woo.” In addition they have a mushy double hoot that’s used when offering meals to their infants or defending a territory.

#16. American Barn Owl

barn owl

Barn Owls (aka Church Owl, Ghost Owl, and Monkey-faced Owl) have a heart-shaped face, that’s sandy-colored with a darkish brown edge. Apparently, the form of an owl’s face steers sound to their ears, which helps make them environment friendly hunters. Their listening to is so good, they’ll find small animals underneath dense brush or snow with ease, and so they even hunt bats!

Barn Owl Vary Map

barn owl range map

Barn Owls are non-migratory and have a tendency to inhabit deserted barns (therefore the title). Although significantly endangered in lots of components of their vary, farmers love them as a result of they preserve surrounding property pretty rodent-free, defending different animals from the ailments that mice and rats carry.

They don’t “hoot” within the classical trend of different owls. Their distinctive screechy-sound is much extra harking back to a red-tailed hawk. When showing-off for a feminine, males will generally clap their wings collectively a few instances whereas flying.

#17. Burrowing Owl

burrowing owl

The Burrowing Owl weighs in at solely 5–8.5 oz. (147–240 gr), stands a stunning 7.5–11.0 in (19–28 cm) tall, and has a 20–24 inch (51–61 cm) wingspan. They normally have distinctive white eyebrows. Their wings are a deeper brown with lighter recognizing, however their chest could be plain mild tan with bars, stripes, or spots.

This owl has comparatively lengthy legs since they spend a whole lot of time navigating on the bottom.

Burrowing Owl Vary Map

burrowing owl range map

Not like different owls that spend their time in timber, Burrowing Owls dwell underground!

They both excavate their houses themselves or fairly continuously, take over underground shelters from squirrels or prairie canine. These underground dens present a whole lot of house to assemble meals. They’ve been recognized to have tons of of mice in storage in case of a meals scarcity!

Whereas Burrowing Owls could make all kinds of sounds, they aren’t particularly vocal. The commonest is a two-syllable that seems like “who-who” or “coo-coo-roo,” which is primarily made by males throughout mating and defending territories.

#18. Northern Noticed-whet Owl

northern saw whet owl

This species is without doubt one of the smallest raptors in the USA, at simply 6.5–9 inches (17–23 cm) tall, and cute as a button. They’re fairly mild at just one.9–5.3 oz. (54–151 grams), and have a wingspan of simply 16.5–22.2 inches (42–56.3 cm). Northern Noticed-whet Owls are sometimes coloured in pale browns and tans.

Their favourite meals are deer mice, voles, and shrews. However these owls will complement their food plan with small birds, bugs, and invertebrates when vital.

Northern Noticed-whet Owl Vary Map

northern saw-whet owl range map

Northern Noticed-whet Owls appear to choose dense coniferous or combined hardwood forests, with a river close by. Due to their want for mature timber, their numbers have been declining.

These owls get their title from the sound they make when alarmed, which resembles the whetting (sharpening) of a noticed. However their commonest name occurs throughout the breeding season. It seems like a “too-too-too,” emitted at about two notes per second.

#19. Quick-eared Owl

short eared owl

This mid-sized tawny-brown mottled owl is 13–17 inches (34–43 cm) tall, with a wingspan of 33.5-40.5 inches (85–103 cm), and weighs between 7.3–16.8 oz (206–475 grams). Its false ears should not all the time seen as Quick-eared Owls sometimes solely erect them once they wish to look intimidating.

Quick-eared Owl Vary Map

short ear owl range map

Your finest likelihood to identify these raptors in the USA is at nightfall or daybreak in open fields, grasslands, meadows, or airports.

These owls construct their nests on the bottom in open areas corresponding to meadows, tundra, savanna, or prairies. If obliged to flee its nest to attract off a predator, the guardian will poop on the eggs so the scent will preserve predators away. Just like a Kildeer, Quick-eared Owls additionally lure predators away from their nest by hopping away and pretending to be crippled.

Quick-eared Owls should not notably vocal. However once they do make noises, these birds have a name, oddly sufficient, that sounds an terrible lot like a cat on the lookout for a mate.

#20. Peregrine Falcon

common falcons in the united states

Peregrine Falcons are birds of prey that could be discovered in all places in the USA, and are literally situated on each continent besides Antarctica. Due to their fondness of nesting on the edges of tall buildings, these raptors are widespread in cities the place they’ll grow to be fairly the native celebrities!

There’s little colour differentiation amongst particular person birds and sexes.  Each men and women have a slate gray/bluish-black again with faint barring. Their chest is white to tan with skinny darkish traces.  Immature birds are sometimes a lot browner than adults. Like virtually all species of falcons, females are bigger than males.

Peregrine Falcon Vary Map

peregrine falcon range map

Peregrine Falcons have the consideration of being the FASTEST animal on the planet!

Don’t be fooled by tales that the cheetah is the quickest creature. Oh certain, they’ll crank it as much as 75 mph (120 kph), and that’s wonderful for being on the bottom.  However when a Peregrine Falcon dives, it might probably attain speeds of as much as 200 mph (320 kph)! And it begins its journey from as excessive as 3,000 toes, so it cruises at these excessive speeds for a substantial distance.

Peregrine Falcons primarily eat different birds. In actual fact, at the very least 450 various kinds of birds have been documented as their prey. They don’t seem to be choosy and take virtually something they’ll catch, together with geese, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds.

You received’t hear them make a lot noise, apart from round its nesting web site as an alarm name. It seems like “kack-kack-kack-kack.” Press the PLAY button under to listen to an instance!

Size: 13-23 inches / 34-58 cm

Weight: 12-53 oz. / 330-1500 gm

Wingspan: 29-47 inches / 74-120 cm

#21. American Kestrel

common falcons

The American Kestrel is the smallest raptor in the USA and is roughly the scale of an American Robin. Don’t let the tiny stature idiot you, although, as a result of these birds of prey are completed hunters.

In actual fact, you could have heard of a kestrel’s alternate title, which is the Sparrow Hawk. This title was given as a result of they may take sparrows and different birds of that measurement proper out of the air!

American Kestrel Vary Map

american kestrel range map

American Kestrels are one of the vital widespread and quite a few birds of prey on the continent, and customary to see in the USA.

One in every of their favourite methods to catch prey is to hover within the breeze from a comparatively low top, on the lookout for bugs, invertebrates, small rodents, and birds. However life could be robust if you’re the smallest falcon since they’re generally eaten as prey by bigger raptors, in addition to rat snakes and corn snakes!

Kestrels have a definite name that sounds very like it’s saying “klee-klee-klee” or “killy, killy, killy,” which is normally repeated quickly. Press the PLAY button under to listen to an instance!

Size: 9-12 inches / 22-31 cm

Weight: 2.8-5.8 oz. / 80-165 gm

Wingspan: 20-24 inches / 51-61 cm

#22. Prairie Falcon

prairie falcon

You’ll discover this raptor within the openness of the western United States.  Particularly, search for Prairie Falcons in grasslands, shrubby deserts, farm fields, and pastures. If there are too many timber round, you then in all probability received’t discover this stunning chook of prey!

The Prairie Falcon and Peregrine Falcon look related to one another. In actual fact, these two species diverged from a typical ancestor about 4 million years in the past.  Though roughly the identical measurement, the Prairie Falcon is a significantly lighter chook and requires much less meals because of this.

Prairie Falcon Vary Map

prairie falcon range map

Prairie Falcons wish to play!

They’ve been noticed choosing up manure, carrying it up excessive after which dropping it, solely to catch the cow waste earlier than it hits the bottom. It’s thought that this exercise might assist sharpen their searching abilities. As they are saying, follow makes good!

Prairie Falcons are usually silent, however they may sound an alarm name (kik-kik-kik-kik) when defending their nest or territory.

Size: 14.5-18.5 in / 37-47 cm

Weight: 15-39 oz. / 425-1106 gm

Wingspan: 35.5-44.5 in / 90-113 cm

#23. Bald Eagle

common eagles in the united states

The Bald Eagle might be probably the most recognizable raptor in the USA! 

However do you know that the “Bald” portion of their title has nothing to do with not having feathers on their head? As you possibly can clearly see, these eagles have white feathers protecting their total face with no bald spots wherever. Their title really stems from an Previous English phrase “piebald,” which suggests “white patch” and refers to their brilliant white heads.

commons eagles in the united states

Whereas virtually everybody is aware of what a full-grown Bald Eagle appears like, making an attempt to accurately determine juvenile birds is difficult. These eagles don’t get their attribute white head and darkish brown physique till they’re FIVE YEARS OLD. Till then, these birds have all kinds of various plumages and streaky browns and whites on their our bodies. Even their beak adjustments colour! It takes A LOT of follow and expertise to determine younger Bald Eagles correctly!

Bald Eagle Vary Map

They’re mostly seen round our bodies of water. The rationale for that is that they largely eat fish!  Search for them round marshes, lakes, coasts, and rivers.  The BEST areas are forests close to giant our bodies of water that present good fishing AND tall timber for nesting websites.

The Bald Eagle in all probability doesn’t sound like what you suppose. In the event you think about an intimidating eagle name, you then could be fallacious. I feel they sound extra like a gull, with trills and little whistles. In actual fact,  film administrators are so unimpressed with the sounds a Bald Eagle makes, it’s widespread for them to make use of the decision of a Purple-tailed Hawk as an alternative for dramatic impact!

Press PLAY above to listen to a Bald Eagle!

Size: 28-40 inches / 70-102 cm

Weight: 6.5-15 lbs / 3-7 kg

Wingspan: 71-91 inches / 1.8-2.3 meters

#24. Golden Eagle

species of eagles in the united states

Golden Eagles are extremely quick and agile, which makes them knowledgeable hunters. The place Bald Eagles largely eat fish, these eagles virtually all the time eat mammals. Their favourite prey contains rabbits, hares, floor squirrels, marmots, and prairie canine. However these raptors have been recognized to hunt and kill animals as giant as small deer, seals, mountain goats, coyotes, and badgers!

They have even been recognized to grab a bear cub for dinner. Speak about bravery (or stupidity?)! 🙂

Golden Eagles are darkish brown with gold feathers on the backs of their necks, which is how they received their title. Juvenile birds have white patches on their wings and tails. Immature Bald Eagles and grownup Golden Eagles look related and could be simply confused.

golden eagle vs bald eagle juvenile - common eagles in the united states

The distinguishing characteristic between these two birds is that the Bald Eagle doesn’t thoughts exhibiting a bit of leg, whereas the Golden Eagle has feathers all the best way right down to the highest of their toes.

Golden Eagle Vary Map

golden eagle range map

These birds of prey choose huge open areas in the USA, corresponding to landscapes that embody cliffs, mountains, or hills.  You can too spot these birds in grasslands, farmlands, shrublands, arctic tundra, and coniferous woodlands.

These eagles should not extraordinarily noisy, and their calls sound like whistles which can be weak and excessive. Identical to Bald Eagles, for such a strong raptor, you’d suppose Golden Eagles would have a way more intimidating sound!

Size: 26-40 inches / 66-100 cm

Weight: 6.5-16 lbs / 3-7 kg

Wingspan: 71-91 inches / 1.8-2.3 meters

#25. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

common vultures in the united states

The Turkey Vulture, also referred to as the Turkey Buzzard, is extremely widespread in the USA and probably the most ample vulture in the complete nation. They’re comparatively straightforward to determine, as they’re all black, with a bald purple head and a pinkish invoice. The title derives from their free resemblance to a Wild Turkey.

As soon as you already know what to search for, it’s straightforward to identify these vultures whereas they’re flying. Search for a big raptor hovering within the sky making wobbly circles, whose wings are raised excessive sufficient to appear to be the letter “V.” It’s thought that this flying fashion helps them glide at low altitudes, which retains them near the bottom to scent for meals.

Turkey Vulture Vary Map

Search for Turkey Vultures wherever you could find lifeless animals.

These birds of prey use their extremely developed sense of scent to find carrion. Their sense of scent is so delicate that they’ll detect lifeless meat from 8 miles (13 km) away. These birds really choose to eat recent meals, and so they attempt to get to animals as rapidly as doable after their dying.

As you possibly can think about, they’re usually seen alongside roadsides consuming animals which were hit by vehicles. They’re additionally continuously noticed hovering the skies within the open countryside.   When these raptors are frightened, they are often so filled with meat that they can’t quickly fly away. On this case, you might even see them projectile vomit what they’ve eaten to drop some pounds and escape.

Size: 25-32 inches / 64-81 cm

Weight: 2-5 lbs / 0.8-2.4 kg

Wingspan: 63-72 inches / 160-183 cm

#26. Black Vulture

black vulture - common vulture species in the united states

Black Vultures primarily eat carrion, however not like most different vultures, they’re recognized to kill animals to feed on recent meat. It’s not unusual for them to prey on dwelling skunks, opossums, and livestock, corresponding to child pigs, calves, and lambs.

These birds get their title as a result of their total physique is roofed in black feathers and a bald head that options black pores and skin. However as they’re hovering, you possibly can see silver feathers on the underside of their wings.

It’s straightforward to inform a Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture aside.

Simply do not forget that Black Vultures have black-colored heads and are brief and compact, the place Turkey Vultures have red-colored heads and are longer and lankier. If they’re hovering above you, Black Vultures will show silvery wingtips. Turkey Vultures have grey feathers that cowl nearly all of the underside of their wings, and so they additionally fly with their wings barely raised, which resembles the letter “V.”

Black Vulture Vary Map

Search for Black Vultures within the southern United States in each forested and open areas. They like to roost and nest in dense forests however forage for meals alongside roads, fields, and different open areas.

Like most vultures, these birds are largely silent.  The one noises chances are you’ll hear are grunting and hissing. Belief me; you received’t be listening to any lyrical tunes from these birds!

Size: 22-29 inches / 56-74 cm

Weight: 3½-6½ lbs / 1.6-3 kg

Wingspan: 51-66 inches / 1.3-1.7 meters

Which of those birds of prey have you ever seen earlier than in the USA?

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