- Bird

26 Birds of Prey Discovered within the USA! (COMMON)

What sorts of birds of prey can you discover in the USA?

common birds of prey and common raptors


This query is widespread, each for birders and non-birders alike. Raptors are widespread animals that are likely to catch individuals’s curiosity greater than most different species. Fortunately, in the USA, there are a lot of species in all kinds of various habitats.


As we speak, you’ll study 26 kinds of raptors that reside in the USA!


Right here is how the beneath checklist is organized. Click on the hyperlink to leap straight to that part!


#1. Purple-tailed Hawk

Common birds of prey in United States


Purple-tailed Hawks are some of the prevalent birds of prey in the USA!


These massive raptors are sometimes seen on lengthy drives within the countryside, hovering within the sky or perched on a fence publish. The colour of a Purple-tailed Hawk’s plumage might be something from almost white to nearly black, so coloration shouldn’t be a dependable indicator. The easiest way to establish them is by searching for their attribute crimson tail. ????   


Purple-tailed Hawk Vary Map

Red-tailed Hawk Range Map


These hawks are extremely adaptable, and there’s no actual description of their most popular habitats as a result of they appear to be snug all over the place. I’ve seen Purple-tailed Hawks in quite a few locations, from the deep backcountry in Yellowstone Nationwide Park to city cities to my very own suburban yard! Decide a habitat, reminiscent of pastures, parks, deserts, roadsides, rainforests, woodlands, fields, or scrublands, and also you’ll discover them thriving.  


Purple-tailed Hawks have spectacular calls which are simply recognized.


The truth is, individuals are so enamored with their screams, it’s widespread for administrators to make use of the sounds of a Purple-tailed Hawk to switch Bald Eagles that seem in films. In case you will have by no means heard one, Bald Eagles don’t make sounds that reside as much as their look (placing it properly!)


Size: 18-26 inches / 45-65 cm

Weight: 1.5-3.5 lbs. / 700-1600 gm

Wingspan: 43-55 inches/ 110-140 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo jamaicensis  


#2. Sharp-shinned Hawk

Types of birds of prey found in United States


Sharp-shinned Hawks are one of many smallest birds of prey in the USA, and they’re extremely athletic and acrobatic. It’s widespread to see these raptors zipping via the woods or by your chicken feeders in a blur of movement!  


To establish these birds, search for bars of orange on their higher chest that fades in the direction of the stomach and blue-gray again and wings. When they’re flying, their wings are comparatively quick and rounded, however with a protracted tail. Females are significantly larger than males.


Sharp-shinned Hawk Vary Map

Sharp-shinned Hawk Range Map

These raptors are widespread in forested areas in the USA. They’re most frequently seen round chicken feeders, searching and preying on the songbirds that come to go to. These raptors are ambush predators, sitting patiently after which dashing out from cowl at excessive velocity to chase birds, which make up 90% of their weight-reduction plan.


In my yard, I see them catching Mourning Doves essentially the most.


Press PLAY beneath to listen to a Sharp-shinned Hawk!



One approach to confirm you will have seen a Sharp-shinned Hawk is to pay attention for his or her sounds. People give a high-pitched shrill “kik-kik-kik” which is often repeated a number of instances.


Size: 9-13.5 inches / 23-37 cm

Weight: 3-8 oz / 82-220 gm

Wingspan: 16.5-26.5 inches / 42-68 cm

Scientific Title: Accipiter striatus  


#3. Cooper’s Hawk

Birds of prey species that live in United States  

These raptors are generally present in the USA in woods or on the sting of fields. Cooper’s Hawks are identified for his or her flying agility. I see them typically at my home in high-speed chases via the cover going after their prey.


Cooper’s Hawk Vary Map

Cooper's Hawk Range Map  

Due to their unimaginable flying talents, these raptors primarily eat songbirds and are widespread to see in backyards round chicken feeders. At my feeding station, I’ve noticed these hawks preying on Purple-winged Blackbirds, European Starlings, and Mourning Doves.  


cooper vs sharp shinned hawk - types of hawks in the united states  

Visually, a Cooper’s Hawk seems extremely just like the Sharp-shinned Hawk (#2). Their steely blue-gray look is almost an identical to the Sharp-shinned hawk, proper all the way down to the little black cap that each put on and the rufous coloured chest.  


The BEST approach to inform these hawks aside is to have a look at the scale distinction. Cooper’s are bigger than Sharp-shinneds. But when they’re airborne, good luck determining which one you might be observing!


The commonest sound a Cooper’s Hawk emits is an alarm name that appears like “kuck, kuck, kuck” or “cak-cak-cak.” Pay attention for a bassier sound than the higher-pitched Sharp-shinned Hawk. PRESS PLAY BELOW!


Size: 13½-20 inches / 35-50 cm

Weight: 8-24 oz / 220-680 gm

Wingspan: 24½-35½ inches / 62-90 cm

Scientific Title: Accipiter cooperii  


#4. Purple-shouldered Hawk

Common birds of prey species in United States  

Distinctly marked, Purple-shouldered Hawks have a barred rufous chest, largely white underwings, a strongly banded tail, and naturally, crimson shoulders which are seen when perched.  

Purple-shouldered Hawk Vary Map

Red-shouldered Hawk Range Map

Whereas Purple-tailed Hawks personal massive open areas, Purple-shouldered Hawks are primarily forest dwellers. Their favourite locations are woods with an open higher cover since this additional area permits them to hunt extra effectively. These raptors are additionally widespread in suburban areas the place homes have been combined into woodlands.


Watch a Purple-shouldered Hawk searching in my yard!

Take a look at the Chook Watching HQ YouTube channel HERE!


When searching, these raptors drop onto their prey straight from overhead, making their searching type distinctive. You possibly can see this conduct completely above, as a Purple-shouldered Hawk tries to catch a squirrel in my yard! (Don’t fear, the hawk is unsuccessful.)


It’s widespread to listen to a Purple-shouldered Hawk earlier than you see one. Pay attention for a loud name that appears like “kee-ahh,” which is usually repeated a number of instances.  


Size: 15-19 inches / 38-48 cm

Weight: 1.1-1.9 lbs. / 500-860 gm

Wingspan: 38-42 inches / 96-107 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo lineatus  


#5. Broad-winged Hawk

United States birds of prey species  

The our bodies of Broad-winged Hawks are quick and stocky, which makes them completely tailored to life within the forest. These birds of prey reside in the USA and are pretty widespread, however they aren’t typically seen as a result of they like spending their time within the deep woods away from people. 


Broad-winged Hawk Vary Map

Broad-winged Hawk Range Map  

Whereas these birds spend their summers right here in the USA, they fly south for the winters to Central America and South America. Broad-winged Hawks are in all probability finest identified for his or her epic migrations every fall. It’s estimated that the common chicken travels over 4,000 miles complete, and that’s simply ONE WAY, they usually have to finish this journey twice per 12 months.  

These long-distance flyers typically journey south collectively, hovering on air currents, by the hundreds! Getting the possibility to observe a “kettle” of Broad Winged Hawks is genuinely awe-inspiring, as you’ll be able to see within the video above!  


Size: 13.5-17.5 inches / 34-44 cm

Weight: 16 oz / 450 gm

Wingspan: 33 inches / 84 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo platypterus  


#6. Ferruginous Hawk

Kinds of birds of prey in United States  

Ferruginous Hawks are lovely raptors that reside within the open deserts and prairies of the West. One of many largest birds of prey in the USA, they’ve lengthy broad wings and a large grey, rusty, or white tail.  


These hawks have two colour types you could observe.


  • The gentle morph birds have a rusty brown again and pale underparts.


  • The darkish morph people are darkish brown and chestnut-colored on each their again, chest, and stomach. Darkish morph birds are a lot rarer to see than gentle ones.

Ferruginous Hawk Vary Map

Ferruginous Hawk Range Map  

Ferruginous Hawks have a reasonably restricted weight-reduction plan and rely largely upon small mammals for meals. Curiously, they’ve a number of searching methods they deploy. My favourite being their strategy of working or hopping on the bottom after their prey!  


Their alarm name appears like “kree-a” or “kaah,” and is often given when defending territory or frightened. Some individuals suppose it sounds just like a gull.


Size: 20-27 inches / 51-69 cm

Weight: 2-5 lbs. / 900-2270 gm

Wingspan: 47-60 inches / 1.2-1.5 meters

Scientific Title: Buteo regalis  


#7. Swainson’s Hawk

swainsons hawk  

Swainson’s Hawks are a raptor of the west and may typically be noticed hovering or perched on fence posts, phone poles, or timber in open areas.  


These birds of prey arrive every April in the USA and spend their summers breeding and elevating their younger right here. In direction of the tip of August or starting of September, they start a LONG distance journey to Argentina! When you’re maintaining rating, that’s round 6,000 miles and takes as much as two months. And bear in mind, they make this journey twice per 12 months.  


Swainson’s Hawk Vary Map

Swainson's Hawk Range Map  

As they’re migrating, Swainson’s Hawks typically kind massive “kettles,” the place they be a part of with different species reminiscent of Broad-winged Hawks and Turkey Vultures. In sure spots the place pure funnels happen, it’s attainable to see THOUSANDS of raptors hovering collectively without delay, which resembles an precise river of birds.  


The decision of the Swainson’s Hawk is a harsh alarm name that appears like “kreeeeer,” which regularly lasts 2-3 seconds.  


Size: 18-22 inches / 46-56 cm

Weight: 24-48 oz / 680-1360 gm

Wingspan: 46-54 inches / 117-137 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo swainsoni  


#8. Tough Legged Hawk

rough legged hawk


Tough-legged Hawks, that are additionally referred to as Tough-legged Buzzards and Tough-legged Falcons, spend their summers dwelling and breeding on the Arctic tundra. You possibly can solely see these massive raptors within the continental United States throughout winter after they migrate south. In contrast to most hawks, this species has feathers all the best way all the way down to their toes, which helps hold them heat within the chilly environments they selected to reside.


Tough-legged Hawk Vary Map

Rough-legged Hawk Range Map


Search for these chunky, massive raptors in open areas. They’ve a singular searching type the place they hover whereas dealing with the wind searching for meals. The truth is, they’re one of many few birds of prey that really hovers in place.


These raptors are usually silent, besides they make a mewing sound close to the nest. (Pay attention beneath!)  


Size: 18.5-23.5 inches / 46-59 cm

Weight: 25-49 oz / 715-1400 gm

Wingspan: 52-54 inches / 132-138 cm

Scientific Title: Buteo lagopus  


#9. Osprey


The very first thing you’ll want to find out about Ospreys is they’re NOT hawks! They don’t seem to be eagles both and, scientifically talking, have been given their very own Household (Pandionidae) and Genus (Pandion), separate from all different birds of prey.  


Though Ospreys aren’t hawks, they actually look just like one. These raptors have additionally been given nicknames, reminiscent of Sea Hawk, River Hawk, and Fish Hawk, which trace on the affiliation between an Osprey and hawk.  


Osprey Vary Map

Osprey Range Map  

If you consider an Osprey, you must consider fish, as a result of that’s what these birds eat 99% of the time. Even an Osprey’s talons are completely tailored for catching fish. When you take a detailed look, you will notice they’re extraordinarily curved and even intersect when totally closed, which makes them completely designed for holding onto slippery fish!  


Due to their specialised weight-reduction plan, you’ll nearly at all times discover Ospreys dwelling, breeding, and elevating their younger round water in the USA. Mating for all times, it’s widespread for them to make use of human-made nesting platforms. When you reside close to a big physique of water, I like to recommend putting in one to see when you can entice a nesting pair!


Pay attention for Ospreys subsequent time you might be round a big physique of water. Their alarm name is a collection of quick high-pitched whistles that descend in pitch. The noise has been in comparison with a teapot taken off a range.  


Size: 20-25.5 inches / 50-65 cm

Weight: 3-4.4 lb. / 1.4-2 kg

Wingspan: 59-71 inches / 150-180 cm

Scientific Title: Pandion haliaetus  



#10. Nice Horned Owl

owl species that live in north america


The Nice Horned Owl is usually coloured with an orangey face with black and white contrasting traces that resemble a tiger. For the reason that goal of most predators is to not be seen, it has horizontal bars on its underside to appear to be tree branches whenever you’re wanting up, and mottles of “tree colours” on high to look “leafy” when you’re wanting from above.  


These raptors are fairly massive and look fierce! To establish, search for their lengthy tufts of feathers that resemble ears on their head. Additionally, try their intimidating eyes. I do know I might not wish to have a staring contest with one!  


Nice Horned Owl Vary Map

great horned owl range map  

Nice Horned Owls are widespread birds of prey in the USA.


Each sexes hoot, however males are lower-pitched than females. Males give territorial calls that may be heard a couple of miles away at evening. I don’t suppose there’s one other owl species that does hooting higher than a Nice Horned Owl!  


A Nice Horned Owls’ sense of odor is so weak that they even assault and eat skunks. It’s not unusual for them, together with their nests and pellets, to odor of skunk.


#11. Barred Owl

owl species that live in north america  

Barred Owls (aka the Hoot Owl), are an unthreatened, nocturnal species discovered within the jap United States. The title “barred” derives from the horizontal stripes of alternating gentle brown and darkish brown on the wings, again, and tail.  


Barred Owl Vary Map

barred owl range map

Barred Owls are the owl species that I’ve noticed essentially the most within the wild. They’re extremely curious and inquisitive, and lots of instances will watch as you stroll previous them. Even when they get nervous as you method, usually they simply fly off a bit to a different tree to proceed observing.


Barred Owls depend on mice and different small rodents, however eat absolutely anything fabricated from meat! They are going to readily seize rats, rabbits, bats, squirrels, moles, minks, weasels, opossums, quite a lot of birds, frogs, snakes, fish, turtles, and can even hunt round your nightly campfire to catch some candy, juicy bugs. 



And talking of classical noises, their hoots are the basic sounds featured in films and scary Halloween tales. It’s simple to acknowledge their name because it appears like they’re asking, “Who cooks for you?Barred Owls will pontificate throughout daytime too, they usually mate for all times.  


#12. Jap Screech-Owl

types of owls in north america  

Screech-owls might remind you {of professional} wrestlers since they’re quick, stocky, and don’t have any necks!. They weigh in at 4.2–8.6 oz. (120–244 g), 6.3– 9.8 in (16–25 cm) in size, and have a wingspan of 18–24 in (46–61 cm). These owls can both be gray or crimson, with a couple of third of all people being crimson.  


Jap Screech-owl Vary Map

eastern screech-owl range map


These small raptors are present in wooded areas in the USA. They don’t appear to thoughts individuals an excessive amount of as they’re snug nesting on high of streetlamps, subsequent to busy roadways/highways, or inside areas in populated buildings.



Jap Screech-owls make quite a lot of hoots, calls, and songs, however their hottest is an excellent pitched trill, typically referred to as a tremolo. The tremolo is utilized by pairs to maintain in touch with one another and lasts between 3 to six seconds. I believe this tremolo name sounds so much like mating toads, and I generally get the 2 confused!  


#13. Western Screech-Owl

types of owls in north america  

As soon as upon a time, Western Screech-owls had been considered the identical chicken because the Jap Screech-owl, however analysis has decided that they’re two distinct species. The Western selection ranges in weight from 3.5–11 oz. (100–300 grams), with a physique size of seven.5–10 inches (19–28 cm), and a wingspan of twenty-two–24 inches (55–62 cm).  

Western Screech-owl Vary Map

western screech-owl range map  

Western Screech-owls might be present in forests, however you’ll additionally discover them in suburban parkland, deserts, farm fields, and any primary shrubland. They’re a comparatively widespread chicken of prey in the USA.


The first meals of a Western Screech-owl embody rats, mice, and birds. However they’re opportunistic hunters and also will eat fish, amphibians, and invertebrates, reminiscent of crayfish, bugs, earthworms, and slugs. Curiously, they’ve been identified to sometimes pluck a trout out of the water at evening, or tackle one thing as massive as a duck or rabbit.



Western Screech-owl calls aren’t “screechy,” because the title counsel. The commonest sound is a somewhat quiet, nice trill (“hoo-hoo-hoo” or “cr-r-oo-oo-oo”), which hastens on the finish however maintains a relentless pitch.  


#14. Snowy Owl

common owls in north america  

Snowy Owls get my vote for essentially the most lovely raptor in the USA! Their gorgeous white plumage stops nearly everybody of their tracks, each birders and non-birders alike!  


Now, that is one huge chicken at 20.7–25.2 inches (52.5–64 cm) tall, a wingspan of 48–60 inches (1.2–1.5 meters), and with weights within the 3.2–4 lb. (1,465–1,800 gram) vary. Snowy Owls are largely white, however they do have horizontal darkish traces throughout their our bodies besides the face and breast. Curiously, people appear to get whiter with age.

Snowy Owl Vary Map

snowy owl range map


Snowy Owls migrate with the altering seasons. Throughout summer season, they mate and breed in arctic tundra. However when winter arrives, these birds come south.


You by no means know the way far south Snowy Owls will journey. Most winters, Snowy Owls solely seem as far down because the northern USA. However some years, there’s an “irruption” of Snowy Owls, and lots of extra birds than regular migrate south.


When defending their territory or trying to find a mate, males make a loud “hoo, hoo.” This hoot is so loud that it may be heard as much as 7 miles away on the tundra! Females hardly ever hoot, however different noises (for each sexes) embody cackles, shrieks, hissing, and invoice snapping.  


#15. Nice Grey Owl

common owls in north america  

The Nice Grey Owl can also be identified by many alternate names. How about Bearded Owl, Cinereous Owl, Lapland Owl, Phantom of the North, Sooty Owl, Spectral Owl, or Spruce Owl?  


No matter you name it, this species is (lengthwise) one of many largest birds of prey in United States at 24–33 inches (61–84 cm) tall, with a wingspan of 5 toes (1.5 meters), and weighing in someplace between 1½–4 lb (580–1,900 grams). As you’ve in all probability guessed, this owl is predominantly gray coloured with alternating gentle and darkish stripes.


Nice Grey Owl Vary Map

great gray owl range map


Gray Grey Owls NEVER construct nests. They only use ones that had been made by different huge birds. Speak about being environment friendly! Nevertheless, as soon as they declare a used nest, these owls will defend it courageously, even in opposition to black bears!  


Their name within reason distinctive, daring, and deep, which appears like “whooooo, woo, woo, woo.” In addition they have a tender double hoot that’s used when offering meals to their infants or defending a territory.  


#16. American Barn Owl

barn owl  

Barn Owls (aka Church Owl, Ghost Owl, and Monkey-faced Owl) have a heart-shaped face, that’s sandy-colored with a darkish brown edge. Curiously, the form of an owl’s face steers sound to their ears, which helps make them environment friendly hunters. Their listening to is so good, they will find small animals beneath dense brush or snow with ease, they usually even hunt bats!  

Barn Owl Vary Map

barn owl range map  

Barn Owls are non-migratory and have a tendency to inhabit deserted barns (therefore the title). Although severely endangered in lots of components of their vary, farmers love them as a result of they hold surrounding property pretty rodent-free, defending different animals from the ailments that mice and rats carry.


They don’t “hoot” within the classical style of different owls. Their distinctive screechy-sound is way extra paying homage to a red-tailed hawk. When showing-off for a feminine, males will generally clap their wings collectively a few instances whereas flying.  


#17. Burrowing Owl

burrowing owl  

The Burrowing Owl weighs in at solely 5–8.5 oz. (147–240 gr), stands a shocking 7.5–11.0 in (19–28 cm) tall, and has a 20–24 inch (51–61 cm) wingspan. They often have distinctive white eyebrows. Their wings are a deeper brown with lighter recognizing, however their chest might be plain gentle tan with bars, stripes, or spots.  


This owl has comparatively lengthy legs since they spend a number of time navigating on the bottom.


Burrowing Owl Vary Map

burrowing owl range map  

In contrast to different owls that spend their time in timber, Burrowing Owls reside underground!


They both excavate their houses themselves or fairly continuously, take over underground shelters from squirrels or prairie canines. These underground dens present a number of area to assemble meals. They’ve been identified to have lots of of mice in storage in case of a meals scarcity!



Whereas Burrowing Owls could make all kinds of sounds, they aren’t particularly vocal. The commonest is a two-syllable that appears like “who-who” or “coo-coo-roo,” which is primarily made by males throughout mating and defending territories.  


#18. Northern Noticed-whet Owl

northern saw whet owl


This species is likely one of the smallest raptors in the USA, at simply 6.5–9 inches (17–23 cm) tall, and cute as a button. They’re fairly gentle at just one.9–5.3 oz. (54–151 grams), and have a wingspan of simply 16.5–22.2 inches (42–56.3 cm). Northern Noticed-whet Owls are usually coloured in pale browns and tans.  


Their favourite meals are deer mice, voles, and shrews. However these owls will complement their weight-reduction plan with small birds, bugs, and invertebrates when mandatory.


Northern Noticed-whet Owl Vary Map

northern saw-whet owl range map  

 Northern Noticed-whet Owls appear to desire dense coniferous or combined hardwood forests, with a river close by. Due to their want for mature timber, their numbers have been declining. 


These owls get their title from the sound they make when alarmed, which resembles the whetting (sharpening) of a noticed. However their most typical name occurs through the breeding season. It appears like a “too-too-too,” emitted at about two notes per second.


#19. Quick-eared Owl

short eared owl  

This mid-sized tawny-brown mottled owl is 13–17 inches (34–43 cm) tall, with a wingspan of 33.5-40.5 inches (85–103 cm), and weighs between 7.3–16.8 oz (206–475 grams). Its false ears aren’t at all times seen as Quick-eared Owls usually solely erect them after they wish to look intimidating.


Quick-eared Owl Vary Map

short ear owl range map


Your finest probability to identify these raptors in the USA is at nightfall or daybreak in open fields, grasslands, meadows, or airports.  


These owls construct their nests on the bottom in open areas reminiscent of meadows, tundra, savanna, or prairies. If obliged to flee its nest to attract off a predator, the mother or father will poop on the eggs so the odor will hold predators away. Just like a Kildeer, Quick-eared Owls additionally lure predators away from their nest by hopping away and pretending to be crippled.  



Quick-eared Owls aren’t significantly vocal. However after they do make noises, these birds have a name, oddly sufficient, that sounds an terrible lot like a cat searching for a mate.  



#20. Peregrine Falcon

common falcons in the united states  

Peregrine Falcons are birds of prey that might be discovered all over the place in the USA, and are literally situated on each continent besides Antarctica. Due to their fondness of nesting on the edges of tall buildings, these raptors are widespread in cities the place they will turn out to be fairly the native celebrities!


There’s little colour differentiation amongst particular person birds and sexes.  Each women and men have a slate gray/bluish-black again with faint barring. Their chest is white to tan with skinny darkish traces.  Immature birds are sometimes a lot browner than adults. Like nearly all species of falcons, females are bigger than males.


Peregrine Falcon Vary Map

peregrine falcon range map  

Peregrine Falcons have the dignity of being the FASTEST animal on the planet!


Don’t be fooled by tales that the cheetah is the quickest creature. Oh positive, they will crank it as much as 75 mph (120 kph), and that’s superb for being on the bottom.  However when a Peregrine Falcon dives, it could possibly attain speeds of as much as 200 mph (320 kph)! And it begins its journey from as excessive as 3,000 toes, so it cruises at these excessive speeds for a substantial distance.  


Peregrine Falcons primarily eat different birds. The truth is, no less than 450 various kinds of birds have been documented as their prey. They don’t seem to be choosy and take nearly something they will catch, together with geese, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds.


You gained’t hear them make a lot noise, aside from round its nesting website as an alarm name. It appears like “kack-kack-kack-kack.” Press the PLAY button beneath to listen to an instance!  

Size: 13-23 inches / 34-58 cm

Weight: 12-53 oz. / 330-1500 gm

Wingspan: 29-47 inches / 74-120 cm  


#21. American Kestrel

common falcons


The American Kestrel is the smallest raptor in the USA and is roughly the scale of an American Robin. Don’t let the tiny stature idiot you, although, as a result of these birds of prey are achieved hunters.


The truth is, you’ll have heard of a kestrel’s alternate title, which is the Sparrow Hawk. This title was given as a result of they may take sparrows and different birds of that measurement proper out of the air!  

American Kestrel Vary Map

american kestrel range map  

American Kestrels are some of the widespread and quite a few birds of prey on the continent, and customary to see in the USA.


One in all their favourite methods to catch prey is to hover within the breeze from a comparatively low top, searching for bugs, invertebrates, small rodents, and birds. However life might be robust whenever you’re the smallest falcon since they’re generally eaten as prey by bigger raptors, in addition to rat snakes and corn snakes!


Kestrels have a definite name that sounds very similar to it’s saying “klee-klee-klee” or “killy, killy, killy,” which is often repeated quickly. Press the PLAY button beneath to listen to an instance!  


Size: 9-12 inches / 22-31 cm

Weight: 2.8-5.8 oz. / 80-165 gm

Wingspan: 20-24 inches / 51-61 cm  


#22. Prairie Falcon

prairie falcon  

You’ll discover this raptor within the openness of the western United States.  Particularly, search for Prairie Falcons in grasslands, shrubby deserts, farm fields, and pastures. If there are too many timber round, you then in all probability gained’t discover this lovely chicken of prey!


The Prairie Falcon and Peregrine Falcon look comparable to one another. The truth is, these two species diverged from a standard ancestor about 4 million years in the past.  Though roughly the identical measurement, the Prairie Falcon is a significantly lighter chicken and requires much less meals in consequence.


Prairie Falcon Vary Map

prairie falcon range map


Prairie Falcons wish to play!


They’ve been noticed choosing up manure, carrying it up excessive after which dropping it, solely to catch the cow waste earlier than it hits the bottom. It’s thought that this exercise might assist sharpen their searching expertise. As they are saying, apply makes good!



Prairie Falcons are typically silent, however they may sound an alarm name (kik-kik-kik-kik) when defending their nest or territory.


Size: 14.5-18.5 in / 37-47 cm

Weight: 15-39 oz. / 425-1106 gm

Wingspan: 35.5-44.5 in / 90-113 cm  


#23. Bald Eagle

common eagles in the united states  

The Bald Eagle might be essentially the most recognizable raptor in the USA! 


However do you know that the “Bald” portion of their title has nothing to do with not having feathers on their head? As you’ll be able to clearly see, these eagles have white feathers overlaying their complete face with no bald spots anyplace. Their title really stems from an Previous English phrase “piebald,” which suggests “white patch” and refers to their shiny white heads.

  commons eagles in the united states  

Whereas nearly everybody is aware of what a full-grown Bald Eagle seems like, making an attempt to accurately establish juvenile birds is hard. These eagles don’t get their attribute white head and darkish brown physique till they’re FIVE YEARS OLD. Till then, these birds have all kinds of various plumages and streaky browns and whites on their our bodies. Even their beak modifications colour! It takes A LOT of apply and expertise to establish younger Bald Eagles correctly!  


Bald Eagle Vary Map


They’re mostly seen round our bodies of water. The explanation for that is that they largely eat fish!  Search for them round marshes, lakes, coasts, and rivers.  The BEST areas are forests close to massive our bodies of water that present good fishing AND tall timber for nesting websites.


The Bald Eagle in all probability doesn’t sound like what you suppose. When you think about an intimidating eagle name, you then can be flawed. I believe they sound extra like a gull, with trills and little whistles. The truth is,  film administrators are so unimpressed with the sounds a Bald Eagle makes, it’s widespread for them to make use of the decision of a Purple-tailed Hawk as an alternative for dramatic impact!  

Press PLAY above to listen to a Bald Eagle!


Size: 28-40 inches / 70-102 cm

Weight: 6.5-15 lbs / 3-7 kg

Wingspan: 71-91 inches / 1.8-2.3 meters  


#24. Golden Eagle

species of eagles in the united states

Golden Eagles are extremely quick and agile, which makes them knowledgeable hunters. The place Bald Eagles largely eat fish, these eagles nearly at all times eat mammals. Their favourite prey consists of rabbits, hares, floor squirrels, marmots, and prairie canines. However these raptors have been identified to hunt and kill animals as massive as small deer, seals, mountain goats, coyotes, and badgers!  


They have even been identified to grab a bear cub for dinner. Speak about bravery (or stupidity?)! ????  


Golden Eagles are darkish brown with gold feathers on the backs of their necks, which is how they acquired their title. Juvenile birds have white patches on their wings and tails. Immature Bald Eagles and grownup Golden Eagles look comparable and might be simply confused.

golden eagle vs bald eagle juvenile - common eagles in the united states  

The distinguishing function between these two birds is that the Bald Eagle doesn’t thoughts displaying just a little leg, whereas the Golden Eagle has feathers all the best way all the way down to the highest of their toes.  


Golden Eagle Vary Map

golden eagle range map

These birds of prey desire huge open areas in the USA, reminiscent of landscapes that embody cliffs, mountains, or hills.  You may as well spot these birds in grasslands, farmlands, shrublands, arctic tundra, and coniferous woodlands.


These eagles aren’t extraordinarily noisy, and their calls sound like whistles which are weak and excessive. Identical to Bald Eagles, for such a robust raptor, you’d suppose Golden Eagles would have a way more intimidating sound!  


Size: 26-40 inches / 66-100 cm

Weight: 6.5-16 lbs / 3-7 kg

Wingspan: 71-91 inches / 1.8-2.3 meters  


#25. Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

common vultures in the united states  

The Turkey Vulture, often known as the Turkey Buzzard, is extremely widespread in the USA and essentially the most considerable vulture in all the nation. They’re comparatively simple to establish, as they’re all black, with a bald crimson head and a pinkish invoice. The title derives from their free resemblance to a Wild Turkey.  


As soon as what to search for, it’s simple to identify these vultures whereas they’re flying. Search for a big raptor hovering within the sky making wobbly circles, whose wings are raised excessive sufficient to appear to be the letter “V.” It’s thought that this flying type helps them glide at low altitudes, which retains them near the bottom to odor for meals. 

Turkey Vulture Vary Map

Search for Turkey Vultures wherever you could find lifeless animals.


These birds of prey use their extremely developed sense of odor to find carrion. Their sense of odor is so delicate that they will detect lifeless meat from 8 miles (13 km) away. These birds really desire to eat contemporary meals, they usually attempt to get to animals as rapidly as attainable after their demise. 


As you’ll be able to think about, they’re typically seen alongside roadsides consuming animals which have been hit by vehicles. They’re additionally continuously noticed hovering the skies within the open countryside.   When these raptors are frightened, they are often so filled with meat that they can not quickly fly away. On this case, you might even see them projectile vomit what they’ve eaten to drop some pounds and escape. 


Size: 25-32 inches / 64-81 cm

Weight: 2-5 lbs / 0.8-2.4 kg

Wingspan: 63-72 inches / 160-183 cm  


#26. Black Vulture

black vulture - common vulture species in the united states  

Black Vultures primarily eat carrion, however in contrast to most different vultures, they’re identified to kill animals to feed on contemporary meat. It’s not unusual for them to prey on dwelling skunks, opossums, and livestock, reminiscent of child pigs, calves, and lambs.


These birds get their title as a result of their complete physique is roofed in black feathers and a bald head that options black pores and skin. However as they’re hovering, you’ll be able to see silver feathers on the underside of their wings.  


It’s simple to inform a Black Vulture and Turkey Vulture aside.

Simply do not forget that Black Vultures have black-colored heads and are quick and compact, the place Turkey Vultures have red-colored heads and are longer and lankier. If they’re hovering above you, Black Vultures will show silvery wingtips. Turkey Vultures have grey feathers that cowl the vast majority of the underside of their wings, they usually additionally fly with their wings barely raised, which resembles the letter “V.”  


Black Vulture Vary Map

Search for Black Vultures within the southern United States in each forested and open areas. They like to roost and nest in dense forests however forage for meals alongside roads, fields, and different open areas.  


Like most vultures, these birds are largely silent.  The one noises you could hear are grunting and hissing. Belief me; you gained’t be listening to any lyrical tunes from these birds!  


Size: 22-29 inches / 56-74 cm

Weight: 3½-6½ lbs / 1.6-3 kg

Wingspan: 51-66 inches / 1.3-1.7 meters  


Do you want assist figuring out raptors?

Listed below are a couple of books and assets you should purchase that can help!


To be taught extra about different birds in the USA, try these guides!

Which of those birds of prey have you ever seen earlier than in the USA?


  Depart a remark beneath!  


A few of the vary maps above had been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, printed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I take advantage of their website OFTEN to be taught new details about birds!

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