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 folks’s curiosity greater than most different species. Fortunately, in the USA, there are numerous species in all kinds of various habitats.


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


Right here is how the beneath record 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 one 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 will be something from practically white to nearly black, so coloration shouldn’t be a dependable indicator. The easiest way to determine them is by in search of their attribute pink 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 in every single 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! Choose 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.


In reality, individuals are so enamored with their screams, it’s widespread for administrators to make use of the sounds of a Purple-tailed Hawk to interchange Bald Eagles that seem in motion pictures. In case you might have by no means heard one, Bald Eagles don’t make sounds that stay 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 Identify: 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 by way of the woods or by your chicken feeders in a blur of movement!  


To determine these birds, search for bars of orange on their higher chest that fades in 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 pace to chase birds, which make up 90% of their eating regimen.


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


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



One strategy to confirm you might 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 occasions.


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 Identify: 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 recognized for his or her flying agility. I see them typically at my home in high-speed chases by way of 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 similar 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 strategy to inform these hawks aside is to take a look at the scale distinction. Cooper’s are bigger than Sharp-shinneds. But when they’re airborne, good luck determining which one you’re observing!


The commonest sound a Cooper’s Hawk emits is an alarm name that feels 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 Identify: 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, pink 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 further area permits them to hunt extra effectively. These raptors are additionally widespread in suburban areas the place homes have been blended 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 instantly from overhead, making their searching fashion 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 feels like “kee-ahh,” which is commonly repeated a number of occasions.  


Size: 15-19 inches / 38-48 cm

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

Wingspan: 38-42 inches / 96-107 cm

Scientific Identify: 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 stay in the USA and are pretty widespread, however they don’t seem to be 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 most likely finest recognized 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 1000’s! Getting the possibility to observe a “kettle” of Broad Winged Hawks is genuinely awe-inspiring, as you may 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 Identify: Buteo platypterus  


#6. Ferruginous Hawk

Kinds of birds of prey in United States  

Ferruginous Hawks are lovely raptors that stay 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 coloration types you might observe.


  • The mild 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 mild ones.

Ferruginous Hawk Vary Map

Ferruginous Hawk Range Map  

Ferruginous Hawks have a reasonably restricted eating regimen and rely largely upon small mammals for meals. Apparently, they’ve a number of searching methods they deploy. My favourite being their strategy of operating or hopping on the bottom after their prey!  


Their alarm name feels like “kree-a” or “kaah,” and is often given when defending territory or frightened. Some folks 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 Identify: Buteo regalis  


#7. Swainson’s Hawk

swainsons hawk  

Swainson’s Hawks are a raptor of the west and might typically be noticed hovering or perched on fence posts, phone poles, or bushes 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 the direction of the top of August or starting of September, they start a LONG distance journey to Argentina! For those who’re conserving 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 type 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 potential to see THOUSANDS of raptors hovering collectively directly, which resembles an precise river of birds.  


The decision of the Swainson’s Hawk is a harsh alarm name that feels like “kreeeeer,” which frequently 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 Identify: Buteo swainsoni  


#8. Tough Legged Hawk

rough legged hawk


Tough-legged Hawks, that are additionally known as Tough-legged Buzzards and Tough-legged Falcons, spend their summers residing 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 way in which all the way down to their ft, which helps preserve them heat within the chilly environments they selected to stay.


Tough-legged Hawk Vary Map

Rough-legged Hawk Range Map


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


These raptors are sometimes 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 Identify: Buteo lagopus  


#9. Osprey


The very first thing you might 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.  


Despite the fact that Ospreys should not hawks, they definitely 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  

Once 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. For those who 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 eating regimen, you’ll virtually at all times discover Ospreys residing, 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. For those who stay close to a big physique of water, I like to recommend putting in one to see if you happen to can appeal to a nesting pair!


Pay attention for Ospreys subsequent time you’re 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 Identify: Pandion haliaetus  



#10. Nice Horned Owl

owl species that live in north america


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


These raptors are fairly massive and look fierce! To determine, search for their lengthy tufts of feathers that resemble ears on their head. Additionally, take a look at their intimidating eyes. I do know I might not need 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 number of miles away at night time. 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 scent is so weak that they even assault and eat skunks. It’s not unusual for them, together with their nests and pellets, to scent 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 japanese United States. The title “barred” derives from the horizontal stripes of alternating mild 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 plenty of occasions will watch as you stroll previous them. Even when they get nervous as you method, sometimes they only fly off a bit to a different tree to proceed observing.


Barred Owls depend on mice and different small rodents, however eat absolutely anything manufactured from meat! They are going to readily seize rats, rabbits, bats, squirrels, moles, minks, weasels, opossums, a wide range 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 traditional sounds featured in motion pictures and scary Halloween tales. It’s simple to acknowledge their name because it feels 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 could 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 pink, with a few third of all people being pink.  


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 folks 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 a wide range of hoots, calls, and songs, however their hottest is an excellent pitched trill, typically known as a tremolo. The tremolo is utilized by pairs to maintain involved with one another and lasts between 3 to six seconds. I believe this tremolo name sounds rather a lot 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 have 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 will 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. Apparently, they’ve been recognized to sometimes pluck a trout out of the water at night time, or tackle one thing as massive as a duck or rabbit.



Western Screech-owl calls should not “screechy,” because the title recommend. The commonest sound is a moderately quiet, nice trill (“hoo-hoo-hoo” or “cr-r-oo-oo-oo”), which hurries up 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 virtually 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 strains throughout their our bodies besides the face and breast. Apparently, people appear to get whiter with age.

Snowy Owl Vary Map

snowy owl range map


Snowy Owls migrate with the altering seasons. Throughout summer time, 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 plenty of extra birds than regular migrate south.


When defending their territory or looking for 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 not often 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 be recognized 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 ft (1.5 meters), and weighing in someplace between 1½–4 lb (580–1,900 grams). As you’ve most likely guessed, this owl is predominantly gray coloured with alternating mild and darkish stripes.


Nice Grey Owl Vary Map

great gray owl range map


Gray Grey Owls NEVER construct nests. They simply use ones that have been made by different huge birds. Discuss being environment friendly! Nonetheless, as soon as they declare a used nest, these owls will defend it courageously, even towards black bears!  


Their name in all fairness distinctive, daring, and deep, which feels like “whooooo, woo, woo, woo.” Additionally they have a comfortable 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. Apparently, 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 underneath 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 critically endangered in lots of elements of their vary, farmers love them as a result of they preserve surrounding property pretty rodent-free, defending different animals from the illnesses that mice and rats carry.


They don’t “hoot” within the classical vogue 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 occasions 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 normally have distinctive white eyebrows. Their wings are a deeper brown with lighter recognizing, however their chest will be plain mild tan with bars, stripes, or spots.  


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


Burrowing Owl Vary Map

burrowing owl range map  

In contrast to different owls that spend their time in bushes, Burrowing Owls stay underground!


They both excavate their properties themselves or fairly regularly, take over underground shelters from squirrels or prairie canine. These underground dens present loads of area to collect meals. They’ve been recognized to have lots of of mice in storage in case of a meals scarcity!



Whereas Burrowing Owls could make all kinds of sounds, they don’t seem to be particularly vocal. The commonest is a two-syllable that feels 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 mild at only 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 sometimes coloured in pale browns and tans.  


Their favourite meals are deer mice, voles, and shrews. However these owls will complement their eating regimen with small birds, bugs, and invertebrates when crucial.


Northern Noticed-whet Owl Vary Map

northern saw-whet owl range map  

 Northern Noticed-whet Owls appear to want dense coniferous or blended hardwood forests, with a river close by. Due to their want for mature bushes, 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 commonest name occurs through the breeding season. It feels like a “too-too-too,” emitted at about two notes per second.


#19. Brief-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 should not at all times seen as Brief-eared Owls sometimes solely erect them after they need to look intimidating.


Brief-eared Owl Vary Map

short ear owl range map


Your finest likelihood 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 father or mother will poop on the eggs so the scent will preserve predators away. Just like a Kildeer, Brief-eared Owls additionally lure predators away from their nest by hopping away and pretending to be crippled.  



Brief-eared Owls should not significantly vocal. However after they do make noises, these birds have a name, oddly sufficient, that sounds an terrible lot like a cat in search of a mate.  



#20. Peregrine Falcon

common falcons in the united states  

Peregrine Falcons are birds of prey that will be discovered in every single place in the USA, and are literally positioned 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 grow to be fairly the native celebrities!


There’s little coloration 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 strains.  Immature birds are sometimes a lot browner than adults. Like virtually all species of falcons, females are bigger than males.


Peregrine Falcon Vary Map

peregrine falcon range map  

Peregrine Falcons have the consideration 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 may well attain speeds of as much as 200 mph (320 kph)! And it begins its journey from as excessive as 3,000 ft, so it cruises at these excessive speeds for a substantial distance.  


Peregrine Falcons primarily eat different birds. In reality, not less than 450 various kinds of birds have been documented as their prey. They don’t seem to be choosy and take virtually something they will catch, together with geese, gulls, pigeons, and songbirds.


You received’t hear them make a lot noise, apart from round its nesting web site as an alarm name. It feels 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.


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

American Kestrel Vary Map

american kestrel range map  

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


One in every of their favourite methods to catch prey is to hover within the breeze from a comparatively low top, in search of bugs, invertebrates, small rodents, and birds. However life will be robust once 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 like it’s saying “klee-klee-klee” or “killy, killy, killy,” which is normally 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 bushes round, then you definately most likely received’t discover this lovely chicken of prey!


The Prairie Falcon and Peregrine Falcon look comparable to one another. In reality, these two species diverged from a typical 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 because of this.


Prairie Falcon Vary Map

prairie falcon range map


Prairie Falcons wish to play!


They’ve been noticed selecting 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 could assist sharpen their searching abilities. As they are saying, follow makes excellent!



Prairie Falcons are typically silent, however they’ll 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 may clearly see, these eagles have white feathers masking their whole face with no bald spots anyplace. Their title truly stems from an Previous English phrase “piebald,” which suggests “white patch” and refers to their brilliant white heads.

  commons eagles in the united states  

Whereas virtually everybody is aware of what a full-grown Bald Eagle seems like, attempting to accurately determine juvenile birds is difficult. 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 coloration! It takes A LOT of follow and expertise to determine 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 bushes for nesting websites.


The Bald Eagle most likely doesn’t sound like what you suppose. For those who think about an intimidating eagle name, then you definately can be incorrect. I believe they sound extra like a gull, with trills and little whistles. In reality,  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 a substitute 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 skilled hunters. The place Bald Eagles largely eat fish, these eagles virtually at all times eat mammals. Their favourite prey consists of rabbits, hares, floor squirrels, marmots, and prairie canine. However these raptors have been recognized to hunt and kill animals as massive as small deer, seals, mountain goats, coyotes, and badgers!  


They have even been recognized to grab a bear cub for dinner. Discuss bravery (or stupidity?)! 🙂  


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

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

The distinguishing characteristic between these two birds is that the Bald Eagle doesn’t thoughts exhibiting slightly leg, whereas the Golden Eagle has feathers all the way in which all the way down to the highest of their ft.  


Golden Eagle Vary Map

golden eagle range map

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


These eagles should not extraordinarily noisy, and their calls sound like whistles which are weak and excessive. Identical to Bald Eagles, for such a strong 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 the complete nation. They’re comparatively simple to determine, as they’re all black, with a bald pink head and a pinkish invoice. The title derives from their free resemblance to a Wild Turkey.  


As soon as you recognize 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 like the letter “V.” It’s thought that this flying fashion helps them glide at low altitudes, which retains them near the bottom to scent for meals. 

Turkey Vulture Vary Map

Search for Turkey Vultures wherever you’ll find useless animals.


These birds of prey use their extremely developed sense of scent to find carrion. Their sense of scent is so delicate that they will detect useless meat from 8 miles (13 km) away. These birds truly want to eat recent meals, they usually attempt to get to animals as rapidly as potential after their loss of life. 


As you may think about, they’re typically seen alongside roadsides consuming animals which have been hit by vehicles. They’re additionally regularly noticed hovering the skies within the open countryside.   When these raptors are frightened, they are often so stuffed 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 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 not like most different vultures, they’re recognized to kill animals to feed on recent meat. It’s not unusual for them to prey on residing skunks, opossums, and livestock, reminiscent of child pigs, calves, and lambs.


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


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

Simply keep in mind 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 might hear are grunting and hissing. Belief me; you received’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 here are a number of books and sources you should buy that may help!


To be taught extra about different birds in the USA, take a look at these guides!

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


  Go away a remark beneath!  


Among the vary maps above have been generously shared with permission from The Birds of The World, printed by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. I exploit their web site OFTEN to be taught new details about birds!

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