Sharp-Shinned Hawk

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Accipiter Striatus 

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Adults have a bluish-gray, with a dark crown. Underparts are white barred with reddish-brown.

Short rounded wings are dark brown above, and whitish streaked with dark below. The tail shows dark horizontal stripes.

Eyes are red, legs and feet are yellow, with median toe larger than others.

Females are larger than males. They have fewer streaks on breast and a rather brownish plumage than males.

Juveniles are streaked and have paler colors than adults. They have thin white stripe and yellow eyes.

BILL: black, yellowish cere, hooked.

SIZE: small hawk, males measure about 9.1 - 11.8 inches in length, with a wingspan of 17 - 23 inches. females, about 11 - 15 inches, with a wingspan of 23 - 27 inches.

WEIGHT: males about 82 - 115 grams and females about 150 - 219 grams.

COLOR: bluish-gray, white, reddish-brown, red, dark brown, and yellow.

Feeds mainly on small birds, but also consumes large insects, small mammals, lizards, and frogs.

Mixed woodlands, can be found near suburban and cultivated areas, and in forests. Breeds in deciduous or evergreen forests, in mountainous areas, from 500 to 3000 meters elevation.

North America, Central America, South America and the Greater Antilles.

Their call is a series of “kik-kik-kik” or “kek-kek-kek”, but it is usually silent. Vocalizes occur during the breeding season.

Near the nest, the male utters “kip-kip” or “kew-kew-kew” and the female replies “keeeep”.

Nestlings give “eee” at the nest.

NEST: Both adults collect nesting materials, but the female builds the platform nest.

The nest is a broad, flat mass of dead twigs, usually, conifer twigs, sometimes lined with flakes of bark.

EGGS: 4 - 5 white or bluish eggs, spotted with dark.

INCUBATION: 21 - 35 days, female fed by the male.

NESTLING PHASE: 21-28 days.

FLEDGLING AGE: 21 to 32 days, males sooner than females.

They are active during the day and very secretive.

They are are “pursuit hunters”, surprising and capturing most of their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation.

They are territorial during the breeding season.

They may migrate in small groups, but it is often solitary.

The oldest recorded Sharp-shinned Hawk was a male, and at least 12 years, 2 months old.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk Infographic




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