What are the types of hawks in Massachusetts? Are they the same as the types of hawks in Cincinnati?

Take a long drive anywhere in Massachusetts and you are likely to see a hawk. They are either flying up in the sky or perching in heights. The term “hawk” can be confusing to many people because it brings to mind the images of the American Kestrels and vultures. But these are not hawks. While hawks have been widely known as predators, they refer to a wide variety of birds that are closely related to eagles.

 Driving in Massachusetts? The following are the 7 types of hawks native to Massachusetts.

What Are The Types Of Hawks In Massachusetts

Taking a long drive through Massachusetts? You’ve probably sighted some hawks flying or perching in billboards. Well, it’s no surprise that you’re amazed with them.

The term hawk is often misunderstood by people as American Kestrels or Turkey Vultures. That’s because hawks are predators and when we think about Birds or Prey, we can only think of big birds clawing other animals.

However, vultures are not hawks. Although hawks are predators they are smaller than vultures and they prefer to live prey. When in Massachusetts, you are most likely going to see at least one or two of these hawk varieties.


Massachusetts has three Accipiter species. These bird-eating falcons are often very similar in appearance. The following are the main characteristics of these birds.

  • Longtails comparative with body size
  • Short, adjusted wings
  • Resides in the forest

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus) 

The sharp-shinned hawk is by far the smallest hawk in Massachusetts. But it is also the most unique breeder. Nonetheless, it very well may be found in great numbers during relocation.

Experienced bird of prey watchers can separate it from the bigger Cooper’s Hawk by the more modest head, smaller tail, and facial markings.

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) 

Did you know the popularity of cooper’s hawks in Massachusetts has increased lately? AS a matter of fact, the sharp-shinned hawk itself used to be a rare species but thanks to protective laws, they were able to bounce back from their disappearing population.

Albeit most at home in lush regions, as of late Cooper’s have become more normal in rural and surprisingly metropolitan areas.

 hawk identification massachusetts

Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) 

Goshawks are often mistaken for the more modest Cooper’s Hawk. However, a Northern Goshawk in grown-up plumage is obvious. Hawk identification Massachusetts groups are able to determine Goshawks from Cooper’s hawk through their size.

Goshawks are extremely remarkable and are regularly seen in bigger backwoods. On their reproducing domains, goshawks are famously forceful and won’t spare a moment to assault bystanders.


There are four Buteo species that can be seen in Massachusetts. Their favored prey species are frequently little warm-blooded animals. However, they will likewise benefit from birds, reptiles, and even snakes.

The following are the most distinguishable features of the Buteo.

  • Stockier and bigger than Accipiters
  • Expansive wings
  • Wide, adjusted tails
  • Red-carried Hawk grown-up in-flight Brian Rustica
  • Red-carried Hawk (Buteo lineatus)

Red-Shouldered Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) 

 hawks in massachusetts

The most common type of hawks in Massachusetts is the red-shouldered hawk. They are mostly found in urban areas, rural areas, and the open country. It takes care of basic squirrels and other little warm-blooded creatures and seldom presents any danger to people or pets.

Just the grown-ups sport a red tail. Juveniles who are a similar size as adults keep their earthy-colored tail feathers for a year after they’re conceived. Youthful birds keep on depending on their folks for nourishment for a month or more after fledging, and can frequently be heard shrieking for food (boisterously) in pre-fall.

Rough-legged Botero

Rough-legged hawks are cold raisers yet frequently move south to Massachusetts in the colder time of year. Search for these overwinter birds in their favored territory of enormous, open fields.

They are the main buteo that consistently hunts preys by “kiting,” or flying above their targets.

Eagle vs. Hawks

 hawks native to massachusetts

Eagles and hawks are entirely different species. While they look very similar to each other, the most noticeable difference is that eagles are bigger than hawks. 

Number of Species

While hawks are considered endangered species, there are 250 species of hawks around the world. On the other hand, eagles have 74 species only


Hawks are definitely smaller in size than eagles. Moreover, the wingspan of hawks is smaller than that of an eagle. 


Eagles are stronger than hawks. Since they are larger, they can attack bigger prey such as small cats and dogs. Hawks native to Massachusetts are not capable of clawing bigger pets. If you want to learn about whether hawks can eat your cats and dogs, you can check it out here.


 While hawks are mainly gray or reddish-brown, eagles can be golden, or blackish-gray. Moreover, eagles have yellow beaks while hawks have black beaks.

Types Of Hawks In Massachusetts And Their Similarities With Eagles

  • Eagles and hawks are two kinds of flying predators.
  • Both have a place with the family Accipitridae.
  • They live in the woodlands, fields, snow-capped knolls, tundra, deserts, ocean coasts, rural and metropolitan regions.
  • Both are nearly enormous in measure and have solid and incredible paws, noses, legs, and wings.
  • Their wing shape and tail shape are comparative.
  • They have sharp eye sights, bent claws, and beaks.
  • Their legs are padded directly down to the toes.
  • Their females are bigger and more grounded than guys.
  • They chase during the day and are subsequently called diurnal birds. They return to their respective homes when night falls and sleep.

There you go, now that you know the various types of hawks native to Massachusetts, you’ll eventually recognize them as soon as you spot any of their variety. In any case, hawks are just for viewing and not for hunting. Don’t be afraid though. Hawks do not attack humans as you see in horror movies.

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