Hawks

Cooper's Hawk by William Liljeroos

Cooper's Hawk by William Liljeroos

Buteos

Buteos are broad-winged hawks found soaring thousands of feet in the air on thermals or perched on telephone poles. Buteos hunt mostly mammals but will also opportunistically eat reptiles, amphibians and other birds. The most common buteos are listed below.

Harriers

Harriers are also called Marsh Hawks. In Wyoming, we have one Harrier called the Northern Harrier.

Accipiters

Accipiters are the sprinters of the raptor family, they are faster even than falcons for short distances. They hunt mostly song birds. Accipiters are found in forests and have distinctively long tails used for steering around sharp corners. Some accipiters found in Wyoming are listed below.

Kites

A Kite is any of the species of raptor belonging to the sub-families Milvinae, Elaninae, and Perninae within the family Accipitridae (true hawks). In the field it is helpful to separate kites into two groups based on wing shape: the paddle-winged and pointed-winged kites. The Swallow-tailed Kite, Mississippi Kite, and the White-tailed Kite are all considered pointed-winged kites, while the Snail Kite and the Hook-billed Kite are considered paddle-winged kites. “Kite” comes from the old english word cyta , which was used to describe two old world raptors in the genus Milvus , or the Black and Red Kites. Toy kites made of wood and paper are actually named after the Milvus Kites. The five North American species of kite are so named due to their light and buoyant flight style. Kites prey on a variety of animals including snails, mice, and insects; kites also inhabit a wide range of habitats from grasslands to tropical marshlands.

Species of Kite found in the United States

Pointed-winged Kites

Paddle-winged Kites

Here's an amazing video showing the capabilities of an accipter, the Goshawk:

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