Everything About Hawks In Texas

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hawks in texas

HAWKS IN TEXAS – Most people who enjoy watching birds have a great eye for different kinds of birds and their distinguishing features.

Although if your understanding of local birds does not reach an advanced level, it is likely that you’re acquainted with them.

Texas is home to a variety of intriguing hawk species which provide fascinating viewing. The perfect habitats for hawks in Texas abound, and now we’ll talk about the specific characteristics that set their species apart.

More about the Texas Hawks!

There are around 200 different types of hawks. However, only 25 are known to exist within the United States of America. Approximately 14 of such 25 species are included in the updated list of all hawks in Texas.

Hawks are predatory birds, which implies that lesser vertebrates are their main Texas birds of prey. Texas has 268,596 sq miles, a large amount of terrain that texas hawks would find intriguing to live in.

Texas is ideally situated along many bird species’ migration routes, which may cause the state’s diversity of hawk species. As a result, various species call particular areas of Texas home year-round, whereas others do so periodically.

In part, after this one, let’s learn everything there is to know about Texas hawks.

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14 Hawk types in Texas & Fascinating Facts About Them!

1. Swainson’s Hawk

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 48 inches
  • Length: 18 – 22 inches
  • Weight: 24 – 48 ounces

Appearance

Many Swainson’s hawks in Texas have white undersides, brownish-grey chests, and shoulders, though the exact color varies. These have unusual brown feathers with a brown and white scale-like design.

One can see the wavy white, grey, and black patterns of white, grey, and black on the tail and underwings when flying.

Temperament

Very gregarious creatures, Swainson’s hawks prefer to remain in groups. They frequently soar high up in the air as they travel. The hawks have a voracious hunger for bugs and could snag dragonflies off the floor.

Habitat

Swainson’s hawks enjoy soaring but frequently spend their days in broad meadows. They frequently sit on poles close to farmland to take in the view.

2. Red-Tailed Hawk

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 45- 52 inches
  • Length: 17 – 22 inches
  • Weight: 24 – 46 ounces

Appearance

The red-tailed hawk has mostly dark wings with touches of white on them. These birds have brownish-red tails with black bands at the ends, true to their namesake. Red-tailed hawks, on the contrary, have bright white underbodies, necks, and wings. Despite their light brown and black patterns, you can see the snowy white whiteness of the undersides whenever they’re flying.

Temperament

The red-tailed hawk is most likely the hawk you observe regularly flying in loops far over open areas.

Although they don’t hunt entirely on their own, you ought to be wary of their quick dives if they do.

Habitat

The red-tailed Hawk could likely survive wherever you can think of. These raptors can be found almost anywhere as they have no particular habitat preferences.

3. Red-Shouldered Hawk

Measurements

  • Length: 16 – 24 inches
  • Wingspan: 37 – 44 inches
  • Weight: 17 – 27 ounces

Appearance

The gorgeous black-and-white chequered feathers of the red-shouldered hawks in Texas go well with its scarlet shoulder and chest. The ends of the black tails on such powerful birds are white. Young red-shouldered texas hawks possess white undersides and a brown top portion. This Texas bird’s wingtips feature crescent-shaped white patches that stand out irrespective of age.

Temperament

Red-shouldered hawks enjoy displaying their enormous feathers while soaring over woodlands. Red-shouldered hawks can be observed serenely perched on large branches or cables when they aren’t flying. These hawk types eat tiny animals, reptiles, and sometimes amphibians for food anywhere they travel.

4. Broad-Winged Hawk

Measurements

  • Length: 13 – 17 inches
  • Wingspan: 31- 39 inches
  • Weight: 9 – 20 ounces

Appearance

The bodies of broad-winged hawks have a distinctive wavy pattern of brown and white. Black and white stripes alternate on the tails.

Temperament

Bird watchers frequently observe these species of Texas hawk pouncing to capture small mammals in woodlands. Even if you can’t see a broad-winged hawk, you could be able to identify its whistle-like cries.

Habitat

Broad-winged hawks are frequently found sitting in thick forests, as you might infer from their behavior.

5. Rough-Legged Hawk

Measurements

  • Length: 18 – 20 inches
  • Wingspan: 52 – 54 inches
  • Weight: 25: 49 ounces

Appearance

The white, brown, grey, and black coloring on such sophisticated-appearing hawks is beautifully designed. Their cheeks, bottom portions, and necks are likewise yellowish-white. Additionally, rough-legged hawks have brown scaly spots on the undersides and underwings, black wingtips, tail ends, and feather tips.

Temperament

The rough-legged hawk searches the floor for small creatures to kill using its keen vision. They may cling to posts, benches, and tree branches.

Habitat 

Red-legged hawks frequently breed in arctic climates, like most hawks in North Texas. When winter comes, animals would still move to wide-open spaces like deserts.

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6.Ferruginous Hawk

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 52 – 56 inches
  • Length: 22 – 27 inches
  • Weight: 34 – 73 ounces

Appearance

With their brown stripes & white underparts, such enormous hawks are just as magnificent as they seem. Its underwings and upper back have distinct grey and brown patterns that are visible.

Temperament

While taking flight, ferruginous hawks always maintain their wings raised. They can effortlessly hover and glide above prey because of their enormous wings.

Habitat 

In settings like grasslands, prairies, woods, and pampas, ferruginous hawks can be found.

7. Harris’s Hawk

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 40 – 47 inches
  • Weight: 18 – 31 ounces
  • Length: 18 – 23 inches

Appearance

More or less the entire body of a Harris hawk is covered in various tones of brown. The white portion at the end of the undersides and the ends of these slender birds’ tails are both white. The wingspan and legs of Harris hawks are covered in reddish-brown spots as well.

Temperament

Harris’s hawks maintain an upright stance even before perched on poles, branches, and occasionally even cacti.

Habitat

In Texas, Harris’s hawks inhabit a variety of desserts. They do, nonetheless, often go to urban areas in search of water and pigeons to capture.

8.Gray Hawk

Measurements

  • Weight: 13 – 16 ounces
  • Length: 15 inches
  • Wingspan: 35 inches

Appearance

Gray texas hawks are predominantly light grey with delicately barred white chests, as suggested by its name. As most hawks do, these stunning birds feature contrasting black-and-white bands on their tails. Black is a striking hue that grey hawks typically emphasize close to their wingtips.

Temperament

Gray hawks enjoy perching beneath the canopy of woods to search for prey. Such birds may easily hunt for small reptiles thanks to their quick, nimble moves.

Habitat

Gray hawks inhabit harsh settings, including savannahs, forested clearings, and thorn forests. These quiescent hawks types can be seen near waterways where they nest.

9. Cooper’s Hawk

Measurements

  • Weight: 8 – 14 ounces
  • Length: 14 – 17 inches
  • Wingspan: 24 – 35 inches

Appearance

These hawks possess red stripes, underbelly, and dark grey wings on their chests. These ferocious hawks all have black bands around their tails, even though those young copper hawks possess brown top half.

Temperament

Cooper hawks prefer to float through the air rather than fly.

Habitat

Cooper hawks live in dense forests and frequent homes and yards because they are kind.

10. Sharp-Shinned Hawk

Measurements

  • Weight: 3 – 8 ounces
  • Length: 9 – 13 inches
  • Wingspan: 16 – 22 inches 

Appearance

The feathers and backs of adults throughout this type are bluish-blue. These hawks have bellies with white and red bars. The sharp-shinned bird’s distinctive wavy patterning onto its underparts is visible while flying. These different types of hawks have light tails and, of course, black bands.

Temperament

Sharp-shinned hawks are graceful animals that can readily fly through forests in search of Texas birds of prey. While hunting, these animals may attack via close to the bottom branches.

Habitat

Deep within woodlands is where sharp-shinned hawks reside and reproduce. Along the boundaries of forests, where several small birds and mammals reside, they also like hunting.

11.Zone-Tailed Hawk

Measurements

  • Weight: 20 – 33 ounces
  • Length: 17 – 22 inches
  • Wingspan: 30 – 34 inches

Appearance

Hawks with zoned tails are finely formed and also have large wings. Those imposing hawks types are all black on the outside. In flight, one may also observe a fair-skinned barred design on their underwings.

Temperament

Foragers that soar near treetops were zone-tailed hawks. Those cunning hawks may swiftly descend onto Texas birds of prey at low levels.

Habitat

The pine forest, upland desert, and foothills are home to a significant population of zone-tailed hawks. They adore staying in places with rugged terrains, such as canyons and cliffs.

12.White-Tailed Hawk

Measurements

  • Weight: 31 – 44 ounces
  • Length: 18 – 21 inches
  • Wingspan: 50 – 52 inches

Appearance

White-tailed hawks have beautiful, dark grey back sides, which bird watchers appreciate. Their shoulders have had an inwardly curving reddish-brown color. Its underparts, on the contrary, are primarily pale white and turn black towards their wingtips.

Temperament 

White-tailed hawks in Texas frequently perch atop poles and other higher locations to scan for prey. They travel with agility, enabling them to capture tiny birds, reptiles, and animals rapidly.

Habitat

The white-tailed hawk is among the Central Texas hawks that flourish in savannas and grasslands.

13. Northern Harrier

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 40 – 46 inches
  • Weight: 10 – 26 ounces
  • Length: 18 – 20 inches

Appearance

A standard male northern harrier has dark wingtips and is grey above it and pale beneath. Their white tails feature black bands as well. The female northern harrier, on the contrary, is brownish with white undersides and dark stripes dividing its body.

Temperament

The courageous types of hawks known as northern harriers frequently soar quite near the earth. When hunting mammals, they typically fly directly over open areas. If not, they remain in low-lying areas like smaller posts and trees.

Habitat

Northern harriers breed in Arctic tundras like many North Texas hawks, albeit they stay away from areas with a lot of snow. They usually inhabit open environments and lay their eggs in wide grasslands.

14.Northern Goshawk

Measurements

  • Wingspan: 40 – 46 inches
  • Weight: 22 – 48 ounces
  • Length: 20 – 25 inches

Appearance

Northern goshawks had striped white bodies and a cement-like grey color scheme. These hawks have a white streak over their eyes and a dark head. Northern goshawks have attractive, uncluttered looks because of their lightly banded grey tails.

Temperament

The northern goshawk is an expert of cover. Even within crowded surroundings, they may start catching prey using their stealthy, nimble abilities.

Habitat

There are several untamed woodlands in Texas where northern goshawks can be found. They establish in deciduous, hardwood, and other types of woodlands across the region; however, they favor conifer woods.

CONCLUSION

The most stunning and powerful birds that command the sky are hawks. Fortunately, Texas offers year-round habitat to 14 distinct species of these raptors. Understanding hawks in Texas’ diverse activities and distinctive appearances are essential for accurate identification.

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q1) What Consumes Texas Hawks?

Ans: The Texas hawk is not a fussy eater. They consume anything, including insects, smaller birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles.

Q2) How Frequently Do Hawks Roam Around Texas Neighbourhoods?

Ans: Texas officially recognizes 14 different hawk species as year-round residents. Rare visitors include the Great Black Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Roadside Hawk, and Short-tailed Hawk.