Broad-winged Hawk: Medium hawk, dark brown, mottled upperparts and brown-barred, white underparts. Pale underwings with black margins visible in flight. Tail is dark banded. Feeds on amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and birds, large insects. Flap-and-glide flight, soars on thermals and updrafts.
Range and Habitat
Broad-winged Hawk: Occurs north from Alberta east to Nova Scotia, south through North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa to eastern Texas, through the Gulf coast to northern Florida; not found west of the Rockies. Preferred habitats include dense deciduous and mixed woodlands, often near openings created by roads, trails, or wetlands.
The Broad-winged Hawk has a large range, with a global estimate of 4,900,000 square kilometers. The bird is native to most of the Americas and has migrated to Argentina and Jamaica. It prefers a subtropical or tropical forest or plantations in which to reside. The global population of the bird is estimated at 1,800,000, and the population does not seem to be experiencing decline at a rate that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of this population status, the evaluation level of the Broad-winged Hawk is Least Concern.
A subspecies of this hawk, generally found only in Puerto Rico, is endangered and has a total population of about 100 birds.
During migration, weather and geography cause these birds to concentrate into groups that number in the thousands. These large groups are referred to as “kettles.”
Research has shown that Broad-winged Hawks typically migrate about 4,300 miles, covering an average of 70 miles each day.
A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.