Uncovering the Types of Hawks in Alabama: A Birdwatcher’s Guide

Alabama is home to a variety of hawk species, both resident and migratory. Here are some common hawks that can be found in Alabama:

1. Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):

The Red-tailed Hawk is a large hawk species with a distinctive rust-colored tail. It is a year-round resident in Alabama and can be found in various habitats, including open fields, woodlands, and along highways.

2. Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii):

The Cooper’s Hawk is a medium-sized hawk with a bluish-gray back, reddish-brown barred breast, and rounded wings. It is known for its agility and is often found in woodland areas. Cooper’s Hawks prey on birds and small mammals.

3. Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus):

The Red-shouldered Hawk is a medium-sized hawk with reddish-brown shoulders and a barred breast. It prefers wooded habitats near water sources and is known for its distinct vocalizations.

4. Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus):

The Broad-winged Hawk is a small to medium-sized hawk with broad wings and a rounded tail. It is a migratory bird that passes through Alabama during its spring and fall migrations. Broad-winged Hawks can be observed in forested areas.

5. Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus):

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk species with a slate-gray back, pale underbelly with vertical streaks, and short rounded wings. It is an agile flier and hunts small birds and mammals. Sharp-shinned Hawks are often found in woodland habitats.

These are just a few examples of hawks that can be found in Alabama. Other hawk species, such as the Northern Harrier, Rough-legged Hawk, and Osprey, may also be observed in the state depending on the season and habitat. If you are interested in birdwatching or hawk identification, it can be helpful to consult a local field guide or connect with birding communities in Alabama for more specific information and sightings.