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The Ivory Bill·Birds

Hawks & Owls

Guadalupe Caracaras in their rough island terrain

Guadalupe Caracara

As with many recently extinct animals, this species was brought to extinction when collectors, including museums, sought rare specimens after hunters reduced their numbers on the island of Guadalupe, their only home.

Short-eared Owl with its rodent prey

Short-eared Owl, Asio flammeus

Short-eared owls hunt over open grasslands in every continent except Australia and Antarctica, usually for their preferred prey voles but also prey on a number of other small mammals.

Golden Eagle perched on a tree branch

 Golden Eagle, Aquila chrysaetos

Golden eagles prey on rabbits, squirrels, other small mammals and small birds in regions nearly circumpolar in the Northern Hemisphere.

Barn owl with prey in its talons perched on a log

 Barn Owl, Tyto Alba

Barn owls eat rodents, insects, frogs, birds and sometimes poultry in portions of North America from British Columbia and Ontario to Mexico. One pair lived in one of the Smithsonian Institution towers for years. 

Bald eagle perched on a tree branch

 Bald Eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus

The national bird of the US swoops down and snatches fish near the water surface and also preys on rodents and birds throughout most of North America.

A screech owl pair perched on a rotting tree trunk.

Screech Owls, Otus asio

In the night screech owls silently prey on unsuspecting mice, insects, lizards, frogs, snakes, crayfish and fish in forests, groves, swamps, orchards, parks, small towns, and suburbs in North America,

Burrowing owl perched at its ground home entrance

Burrowing Owl, Athene cunicularia

Burrowing owls nest in ground holes burrowed out by ground squirrels and watch the ground while perched for insects and small rodents on which to prey in the open grasslands of North and South America.

Osprey perched on a log

 Osprey, Pandion haliaetus

When an osprey spots a fish swimming near the surface, it hovers for an instant, then plunges downward splashing into the water, sometimes disappearing, submerged for a moment and finally rising with its prey in flight to its favorite perch.

Barred owl perched on a dead tree trunk

Barred Owl, Strix varia

Barred owls hunt mostly for mice and other small mammals, also reptiles, fish, crayfish, birds and insects in forests throughout most of eastern North America from Mexico and Texas to southeastern Manitoba, from the Great Plains to the East Coast and in western Canada, Oregon and northern California.

Rough-legged hawk on a twisted log

Rough-legged Hawk, Buteo lagopus

Rough-legged hawks prey on small mammals in tundras of northern North America and Eurasia and migrate south in winter.

Long-eared owl perched on a dead tree branch in a forest background

 Long-eared Owl, Asio otus

Long-eared owls prey at night usually for small rodents but will also take birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians in North America, Europe and Asia.

Flammulated owl perched on a fallen log in grass

 Flammulated Owl, Psiloscops flammeolus

Flammulated owls prey on moths, butterflies, crickets and beetles and sometimes small rodents in western North America and Central America.

Sharp-shinned hawk with its upland bird prey on a log in foliage

Sharp-shinned Hawk, Accipiter striatus

Sharp-shinned hawks prey on small birds in thick foliage in the Americas and Greater Antilles.

American kestrels perched on a fallen tree one with a grasshopper in its talons.

American Kestrels, Falco sparverius

American kestrels eat mostly mice and insects such as grasshoppers and spiders, also snakes, lizards, small birds and rodents throughout North America and northern South America in forests, open prairies, farms, towns and cities.

Great horned owl with its partridge prey

Great Horned Owl, Bubo virginianus

Great horned owls feed on rodents, small mammals, poultry, game birds and song birds throughout most of the Americas.

Red-tailed hawks with prey

Red-tailed Hawks, Buteo jamaicensis

Red-tailed hawks eat mice, rabbits, gophers and other small mammals, birds, reptiles, crayfish and insects throughout most of North and Central America and some Caribbean Islands.

Merlin perched on a fallen tree trunk in a thicket

 Merlin, Falco columbarius

These small falcons, often called pigeon hawks, hunt small birds and rodents usually in open country in North America and Eurasia.

Swallow-tailed kites

Swallow-tailed Kites, Elanoides forficatus

Swallow-tailed kites feed on small reptiles and amphibians in southeastern US, Central America and much of South America.

Cooper's hawk perched on a fallen log in a thicket

Cooper’s Hawk, Accipiter cooperii

Cooper’s hawks prey on birds and small mammals throughout most of North America from southern Canada to southern Mexico.

Red-shouldered hawk perched on a fallen log with a frog prey in its talons.

Red-shoulderd HawkButeo lineatus

Red-shouldered Hawks scan their surroundings from a high perch for small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and occasionally insects.

Ferruginous Hawk

Ferruginous Hawk, Buteo regalis

Ferruginous hawks hunt up to medium-sized mammals, birds, reptiles, and some insects in central and western North America.

Northern Goshawk clutching a sharp-tailed on a log in foliage.

Northern GoshawkAccipiter gentilis

Northern goshawks prey on birds and small mammals in Eurasia and North America.

Peregrine falcon perched on a rock.

Peregrine Falcon, Falco peregrinus

Peregrine falcons hunt medium size birds throughout the world except for polar regions.

Northern harriers

Northern Harriers, Circus hudsonius

Northern harriers hunt small mammals in North America and Central America.

Broad-winged hawk with a caterpillar prey

Broad-winged Hawk, Buteo platypterus

Broad-winged hawks prey on insects and small amphibians, reptiles and mammals in much of the Americas and the Caribbean.

Swainson's hawk perched on a log in a forest

Swainson’s Hawk, Buteo swainsoni

Swainson’s hawks watch from a perch or soar over open ground for grasshoppers, locusts and other insects in central and western North America in and migrates to South America.

Mississippi kite with a large beetle

Mississippi Kite, Ictinia mississippiensis

Mississippi Kites are agile aerial hunters, known for their graceful and acrobatic flight as they swoop, dive, and hover to capture insects in flight. They inhabit central and southern US and migrate to South America.