Osprey, Hawks and Falcons

Osprey, Kites, Eagles, and Hawks - Family Accipitridae

Osprey Pandion haliaetus. Breeder. Fairly common in spring, summer, and fall in Gulf Coast region, and uncommon in winter. In other regions, uncommon in spring and fall, and rare in winter and summer. Found on lakes, rivers, and bays. Low Conservation Concern.

Swallow-tailed Kite Elanoides forficatus. Breeder. Uncommon and local in summer, and rare in early fall in Inland Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast regions. Occasional in spring and summer in Tennessee Valley and Mountain regions. Found in wooded swamps, mature floodplain forests, and oxbows. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

White-tailed Kite Elanus leucurus. Occasional in winter and fall in Gulf Coast and Inland Coastal Plain regions. Found in grasslands, cultivated fields, and on partially cleared lands.

Mississippi Kite Ictinia mississippiensis. Breeder. Fairly common in spring, summer, and fall in Inland Coastal Plain and Gulf Coast regions. Rare and local in spring, summer, and early fall in Tennessee Valley. In Mountain region, occasional in spring, summer, and fall. Found in river swamps and floodplain forests. Low Conservation Concern.

Bald Eagle Haliaeetus leucocephalus. Breeder. Uncommon in winter, spring, and fall in Tennessee Valley region, and rare in summer. In other regions, rare throughout year. Found primarily around lakes, rivers, and bays. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus. Fairly common in winter, spring, and fall in all regions.  Found in cultivated fields, marshes, meadows, and grasslands. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Sharp-shinned Hawk Accipiter striatus. Breeder. Common in Gulf Coast region in fall, uncommon in winter and spring. In Tennessee Valley and Mountain regions, fairly common in fall and uncommon in winter, spring, and summer. In Inland Coastal Plain, uncommon in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer. Found in forests, open woodlands, and wooded suburbs. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Cooper’s Hawk Accipiter cooperii. Breeder. Fairly common in fall in Gulf Coast region, uncommon in winter and spring, and rare in summer. In other regions, uncommon in winter, spring, and fall, and rare in summer. Found in open woodlands and wooded suburbs. Low Conservation Concern.

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis. Accidental.

Red-shouldered Hawk Buteo lineatus. Breeder. Fairly common in all seasons and regions. Found in moist woodlands and swamps. Low Conservation Concern.

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus. Breeder. Common in fall, fairly common in spring and summer, and occasional in winter in all regions. Found in deciduous woodlands; during migration can be seen flying overhead from any habitat type. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Swainson’s Hawk Buteo swainsoni. Rare in fall and occasional in winter in primarily Gulf Coast region.

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis. Breeder. Common in winter, fairly common in spring and fall, and uncommon in summer in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, common in winter and fairly common in spring, summer, and fall. Found in open country and woodland edges. Low Conservation Concern.

Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis. Accidental. Hypothetical.

Rough-legged Hawk Buteo lagopus.  Rare in winter and rare to occasional in spring primarily in the Tennessee Valley region. Found in grasslands and open cultivated areas. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos.  Rare in winter, spring, and fall in all regions. Found in open country and mixed habitats. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Falcons - Family Falconidae

Crested Caracara Caracara plancus. Accidental.

American Kestrel Falco sparverius. Breeder. Common in winter, common to fairly common in spring and fall, and rare in summer in inland regions. In Gulf Coast region, common in winter and common to uncommon in spring and fall. Found in open fields and woodland edges. Southeastern subspecies (F. s. paulus) has declined dramatically. HIGH CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Merlin Falco columbarius. Fairly common to uncommon in fall, rare in winter, and uncommon to rare in spring in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in winter and fall, and rare to occasional in spring and early summer. Found along coastal dunes and shorelines, and in marshes, grasslands, and cultivated fields. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. Historical breeder. Fairly common in fall, and rare in winter and spring in Gulf Coast region. In other regions, rare in winter, spring, and fall. Found in open country habitats, such as coastal dunes, shorelines, marshes, grasslands, cultivated fields, and cities. MODERATE CONSERVATION CONCERN.

Prairie Falcon Falco mexicanus. Accidental.

References Cited:

Mirarchi. Ralph E., ed. 2004. Alabama Wildlife, Volume One.  A Checklist of Vertebrates and Selected Invertebrates: Aquatic Mollusks, Fishes, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.  The University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa, AL. 209 pp.

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