Friday, February 19, 2010

Broad-winged Hawk

Hawks are broken down into two different families, buteos and accipiters. Buteos are what most people think of when they think of hawks. They have long rounded wings and often seen soaring on thermal air currents. Since accipiters are hawks they also have rounded wings but their wings are shorter and their tails are longer. This gives them more maneuverability which they need since they are primarily bird hunters.


One of the smallest members of the butoe family is the broad-winged hawk. These stocky hawks are usually found in deciduous forests in much of the eastern half of North America. I found this broad-winged hawk near the Old Cedar Bridge in the Minnesota Valley NWR.
Broad-winged hawks eat much of the same prey as their larger cousin the red-tailed hawk, this includes mammals, reptiles and amphibians, small birds and even large insects. Because of their smaller size they are able to get around in and hunt with in the forest usually ambushing their prey by dropping on them from their perch in the tree top canopy.

Broad-winged hawks go through a mass migration each fall, in Minnesota this typically occurs around mid September. Though not really travelling together many travel in the same thermal currents. This phenomenon is called a kettle. they will travel about 60 to 70 miles per day and end up in Central America or the northern portion of South America where they will spend the winter.

8 comments:

forestal said...

Great post and photos

dan

eileeninmd said...

Great shots of the broad winged! It would be a lifer for me.

Nikki-ann said...

Fantastic photos :)

I saw a hawk sat up on a telegraph pole yesterday on my way home from work, but I couldn't stop to take a photo as I was on a narrow winding road.

Misty Dawn said...

Another informative and outstanding post! The photos are breathtaking!

LeAnn * ~ See Great Things said...

What a grand bird! I really appreciate all you shard about it. It was nice to see the the tail shot of the bird as one of your pictures.
Great post!

troutbirder said...

Beautiful pictures. I like the broadwings and hope to see them migrate on my first trip to Hawk Ridge next fall. btw southern Winona county and norther Houston county had some wonderful golden habitat and spouse and I were fortunate enough to count three with "Dianne" from Winona who had their spotting scope.

Michael said...

Good post. Always nice to learn something new.

Douglas Brown said...

You have a great series here.