Hawks of the De Witt Birds of Prey Facility

Broad-winged Hawks are common to North Eastern America and migrate in search of prey. They are small, similar in size to a crow. Their dark brown back is contrasted by a pale underside which is barred with reddish brown. In flight, their wings appear pale with a black outline. The tail has black and white bands of nearly equal widths. Broad-winged Hawks hunt from a perch in forests; eat small mammals such as chipmunks, shrews, and voles; occasionally amphibians, insects, and nestling birds.

Broad-winged Hawks are common throughout eastern North America, they migrate to find available prey.

The ODC acquired this hawk in 2013 as a juvenille. She has permanent damage to her right eye. Reduced vision limits her ability to fly or hunt, and she would be unable to survive in the wild.

This male broad-winged hawk was hit by a car and has permanent damage to his left wing.

Building a new one each year, they typically nest in stick built nests in a deciduous trees. The nests are lined with lichens, bark, and green leaves.

Red-shouldered hawks are large broad winged hawks with long, banded tails and a heavy body. Their brown back is contrasted by an overall reddish underside which is barred from throat to belly. Reddish upper wings give them the appearance of red shoulders and the origin of their name. They typically build a stick nest near the trunk of a tree, lined with shredded bark, leaves, and moss.

In flapping flight, they can reach speeds of 18-34 mph.

Once one of the most common hawks in eastern North America, they are currently listed as a Threatened Species in Michigan due to loss of forest habitat.

The ODC acquired this hawk as an adult in 2009. She has a damaged cornea in her right eye, likely due to a collision with a tree branch. Reduced vision limits her ability to fly or hunt, and she would be unable to survive in the wild.

The ODC acquired this hawk, as a juvenile in 2015. It was struck by a car and has permanent damage to its right wing. It took more than one year for all of it’s feathers to recover since it be became lodged in the grill of the car. It can no longer fly well enough to hunt effectively in the wild.

They hunt while perched on a treetop or by soaring over woodlands, typically eating small rodents, rabbits, snakes, and occasionally small birds,

Red-tailed Hawks are large, stocky, broad-winged hawks. They have a dark brown back with white chest and legs. Most birds have a “belt” of brown streaked feathers across the lower belly. The rusty red tail appears in adults in their second year. Red-tailed Hawks are often seen near highways or in parks where there is ample prey. They construct stick nests up to three feet across high up in large trees or on ledges. Nests may be reused for a number of years.

The ODC acquired this hawk as an adult in 2004, it was struck by a car and suffered a broken wing.  Its injury was severe enough to limit its ability to fly and to effectively hunt in the wild.

They are ambush predators, they hunt from a perch or by soaring over open fields. They primarily take small mammals like mice, squirrels and rabbits, they also eat snakes and will occasionally pursue birds or insects.

Red-tailed Hawks can fly at speeds of 20-40 mph in migration, 30-40 mph top speed of flight, and faster in a dive.

The ODC acquired this hawk as an adult in 2010, it has a permanently damaged right wing, due to collision with a car. It can no longer fly well enough to hunt effectively in the wild.