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How do I find forest hawk species (1 Viewer)

welove2travel

Well-known member
Hello everyone, I am living in the Northeastern United States. I can find red shouldered and red tailed hawks but the forest hawk species have proven very difficult to find and usually when I find one it's flying away and either lands somewhere very hard to locate or flies a second time just as I do. Occasionally, I have gotten lucky and saw them while walking around but surely there must be a better way than sheer luck? I'd like to get some nice photographs of them or just watch them with my bins.
 

Patudo

Well-known member
Accipiters are indeed trickier to see than the broadwinged hawks (buteos) or indeed falcons. I can't advise on how best to get good photos, but as far as observing them is concerned, would imagine your best chances would be:

- during the spring display season when they are more likely to take to the air - I see this with our European/Northern sparrowhawks (roughly between your sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks in size) on fine days in February through early May;

- during the spring and autumn migration seasons as they are moving northward and southward - you can probably find out a good hawk watching point in your area to observe this;

- near concentrations of prey - you may have to wait a while, but sooner or later you'll see something. If you have a busy bird feeder keep an eye out for alarm calls or all the birds suddenly departing. Best times are often at dawn and late in the day.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!

Best regards
patudo
 

JonahAdree

New member
Ukraine
PokolorujTo.pl
Hello everyone, I am living in the Northeastern United States. I can find red shouldered and red tailed hawks but the forest hawk species have proven very difficult to find and usually when I find one it's flying away and either lands somewhere very hard to locate or flies a second time just as I do. Occasionally, I have gotten lucky and saw them while walking around but surely there must be a better way than sheer luck? I'd like to get some nice photographs of them or just watch them with my bins.
Hello. I was in the area and I can honestly say that I came across it too. Unfortunately, I did not take photos.
 

Mysticete

Well-known member
United States
Keep tabs on ebird, to see where they are consistently being sighted. Also, I find that, at least for smaller cities and towns, accipiters often move into more urban locations in winter, to feast on house sparrows and pigeons. You might have an easier time connecting with them at this period than while breeding.

Honestly though, I don't think I have ever INTENTIONALLY sought out an accipiter. I think I just happen upon them birding, or while doing errands.
 

jogresh

Bimble and patch
Already some really good advice and tips.

Only thing i could usefully add, is that when i was working on a Goshawk study, i tended to find that from about late Jan to early April, they often (in north Wales) sit out on the edges of forests and woods quite conspicuously. I assume it's in order to keep an eye on their breeding territory, and may in itself be a form of display, as their whitish underparts contrast at great distance with the very dark conifers. Last time i was in that area at the right time, i spotted one from miles away and was able to get some video with my phone down the scope. So a good vantage point where you can see lots of forest edge at the right time would be worthwhile, and zoom in on anything white! Good luck!
 

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