Sharp-shinned Hawk

(Accipiter striatus)

Conservation Status
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Photo by Laurie Wachholz
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern

 
  NatureServe

N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding

SNRB - Unranked Breeding

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Sharp-shinned Hawk is a small hawk, the size of an American Robin (male) or Rock Pigeon (female). The cap and upper parts are bluish-gray. The underparts are white with thin, horizontal, reddish-brown barring. Immature individuals are brown above with dark brown, vertical streaks on the breast and belly. The tail is relatively long and square at the end with a broad terminal band. It is bluish-gray above with black bars, pale below with dark bars.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Male
10″ to 12″ in length
20″ to 24″wingspan

Female
12″ to 14″ in length
24″ to 28″wingspan

 
     
 

Voice

 
   
   
 

A high-pitched kik-kik-kik-kik lasting 2 to 4 seconds.

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) is larger, 15″ to 19″ in length. The nape of the neck is pale. The tail is longer, rounded at the end, and has a wider terminal white band.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Forests, especially dense, moist coniferous forests; large woodlots; and bogs

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Migration

 
 

March to mid-May and August to November.

 
     
 

Nesting

 
 

 

 
     
 

Food

 
 

Small birds

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common migrant, uncommon breeder

 
         
 

Maps

 
 

The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Class Aves (birds)  
 

Order

Accipitriformes (hawks, eagles, kites, and allies)  
 

Family

Accipitridae (eagles, hawks, and kites)  
 

Subfamily

Accipitrinae  
 

Genus

Accipiter (accipiters)  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Hispaniola Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus striatus)

Mexican Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus suttoni)

Northern Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus velox)

Northwest Coast Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus perobscurus)

Puerto Rican Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus venator)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus fringilloides)

 

The following South American subspecies are often treated treated as separate species based on morphology, geographic isolation, “and probably behaviour”.

White-breasted Hawk (Accipiter striatus chionogaster = Accipiter chionogaster)

White-breasted Hawk (Accipiter striatus madrensis = Accipiter chionogaster madrensis)

Plain-breasted Hawk (Accipiter striatus ventralis = Accipiter ventralis)

Rufous-thighed Hawk (Accipiter striatus erythronemius = Accipiter erythronemius)

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this bird.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Dan W. Andree

 
 

Juvenile Sharp-shinned hawk...

I seen it late April 2022 in rural Norman Co. Mn. but since seems to have moved on. Smaller than a typical hawk but maybe a little bigger and stockier than an American Kestrel.

There were a couple of them I noticed in a wooded/brushy area that contained water and a lot of frogs croaking. The two juvenile hawks I seen in that area were hunting frogs. Seen one capture a frog and tried to get my camera focused on it but it ate it rather quickly. It was in some thick branches so hard to get an open shot for a photo with the frog. The hawk would perch in a tree above the wetland areas and wait and watch until it seen an opportunity to catch a frog for a meal. Once it flew down to catch one it came back up into a nearby tree, perched and ate it. But there were so many branches etc. to try find an opening to photograph or film them with their catch.

Other than the kestrels this was the smallest hawk I have ever seen.

  Sharp-shinned Hawk  
 

Pokey

 
 

Looks beautiful!

 
    Sharp-shinned Hawk      
 

Laurie Wachholz

 
    Sharp-shinned Hawk      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

 

     
 
Slideshows
 
  Sharp-shinned Hawk
Allen Chartier
 
  Sharp-shinned Hawk  
  Sharp-shinned Hawk
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren
 
  Sharp-shinned Hawk  
  Sharp-shinned Hawk
JMC Nature Photos
 
  Sharp-shinned Hawk  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this bird.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Sharp-shinned Hawk in flight
LabofOrnithology
 
   
 
About

Published on Jul 22, 2015

The Sharp-shinned Hawk is a very small, stocky raptor of woodland habitats throughout North America. Like other Accipiters, this species ambushes its songbird prey (often at backyard bird feeders), and uses short, rounded wings to quickly maneuever through dense vegetation. Although secretive during the summer, this species is easily observed during the autumn as it passes over established "hawk watch" sites on its southbound migration.

ML Video #407574.

Recorded by Timothy Barksdale.

For more bird videos and sounds, explore the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology visit: http://macaulaylibrary.org

For additional identification and life history information visit: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/sharp-shinned_hawk/id

   
  KIBS: Sharp-shinned Hawk
Aaron Given
 
   
 
About

Published on Nov 12, 2013

Kiawah Island bird banders take a moment to share the remarkable adaptations of a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Check out our blog at: http://kiawahislandbanding.blogspot.com/

   
  Sharp-shinned Hawk
SmithsonianMBC
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Feb 23, 2011

Sharp-shinned hawk video recorded by George Jameson.

   
  Sharp Dancing
Berkutchi
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jan 14, 2008

A male sharp-shinned hawk ( Accipiter striatus )torments house sparrows caught in a trap as he attempts to get a feathery snack on a sunny winter's day on the Colorado prairie. Learn more about the Raptor Education Foundation at www.usaref.org. Thank you.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this bird.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Dan W. Andree
Late April 2022

Location: rural Norman Co. Mn.

I seen it late April 2022 in rural Norman Co. Mn. but since seems to have moved on. Smaller than a typical hawk but maybe a little bigger and stockier than an American Kestrel.

There were a couple of them I noticed in a wooded/brushy area that contained water and a lot of frogs croaking. The two juvenile hawks I seen in that area were hunting frogs. Seen one capture a frog and tried to get my camera focused on it but it ate it rather quickly. It was in some thick branches so hard to get an open shot for a photo with the frog. The hawk would perch in a tree above the wetland areas and wait and watch until it seen an opportunity to catch a frog for a meal. Once it flew down to catch one it came back up into a nearby tree, perched and ate it. But there were so many branches etc. to try find an opening to photograph or film them with their catch.

Other than the kestrels this was the smallest hawk I have ever seen.

Sharp-shinned Hawk  
  Pokey
1/30/2022

Location: Red Wing, MN

Looks beautiful!

Sharp-shinned Hawk  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2022 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.