Exploring the Majestic Hawks of Oklahoma: A Guide for Birdwatchers

hawks oklahoma

Oklahoma’s hawks are incredible. They have strong wings and sharp talons. These birds of prey have made their home in the state, showing off their hunting skills and amazing everyone.

Different types of hawks live in Oklahoma, like the Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, and Ferruginous Hawk. Each has its own features which make it stand out. For example, the Red-tailed Hawk has a red tail.

Hawks also help balance the environment by reducing the number of rodents. They can see well and swoop down on prey quickly and accurately.

An interesting story happened with a farmer. He was struggling with a lot of rodents eating his crops. He was about to give up when he saw a Red-shouldered Hawk on a tree branch. He watched the hawk skillfully hunt and eat the rodents.

Hawk species found in Oklahoma

To identify the hawk species found in Oklahoma, familiarize yourself with the distinguishing characteristics of key varieties. Explore the unique traits of red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks, and Swainson’s hawks. Each sub-section will provide a brief overview of these respective hawk species without unnecessary detail or fluff.

Red-tailed hawks

Red-tailed hawks have broad wings and a wingspan of up to four feet. Color variations range from light brown to dark brown, with their red tails distinguishing them. These hawks engage in aerial courtship displays with male hawks performing dives and circular flights for the females.

Their diet consists mainly of small mammals like rodents, rabbits, squirrels, and sometimes reptiles or birds. They capture and eat their prey using their sharp talons and beaks.

They are found throughout North America, from deserts to forests and even urban areas. Some are permanent residents while others migrate over thousands of miles in a seasonal pattern.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) does not consider them threatened or endangered. Red-tailed hawks have an average lifespan of around twenty years. Their exceptional vision allows them to spot prey from great distances. John Latham named them after their striking red tails.

Cooper’s hawks

Accipiter cooperii. That’s the scientific name of Cooper’s hawks! Their wingspan is usually 24-36 inches. Their habitat? Woodlands, forests, and areas with lots of trees. They eat birds, mammals, and sometimes reptiles. And they breed from February to July.

These hawks have something special. Long tails. Rounded wings. Makes them great fliers! Plus, they have red eyes and dark crowns. All of this makes them look really cool.

Want to check out Cooper’s hawks in nature? Head to wooded or urban parks. Be patient and watch carefully – they blend in perfectly!

Swainson’s hawks

The expert hunters, Swainson’s hawks, are known for their incredible eyesight. They feast on small mammals like mice, voles, and rabbits, as well as insects such as grasshoppers and crickets. They swoop down from the sky with skill and precision.

A remarkable detail of these hawks is their migrations. They fly thousands of miles from North America to South America and back each year. This tremendous journey shows the strength and resilience of these majestic birds.

Witnessing a gathering of Swainson’s hawks during migration season is an amazing experience. Hundreds or even thousands of them fly together in harmony, making it a wondrous sight that captures the hearts of onlookers.

If you haven’t had the luck to view these hawks, remember to watch out for them during migration season. Don’t miss out on this beautiful display of nature and the chance to observe Oklahoma’s most fascinating avian species.

Habitat and behavior of hawks in Oklahoma

To gain a better understanding of the habitat and behavior of hawks in Oklahoma, delve into the preferred environments and feeding habits of these magnificent birds. Discover the environments that hawks thrive in and the diverse array of food sources they rely on for sustenance.

Preferred environments

Hawks in Oklahoma have particular preferences when it comes to their environments. These can be seen in the habitats and behaviors of these amazing birds of prey.

Let’s delve deeper. Here’s a table about the habitats of hawks in Oklahoma:

Habitat Prevalence Characteristics
Forests High Abundant vegetation
Grasslands Moderate Open spaces
Wetlands Low Water sources

Forests are popular for hawks, due to the plentiful vegetation. This gives them cover for hunting and nesting. Grasslands have a moderate preference. They offer open spaces for hawks to easily spot prey. Wetlands, however, have a low prevalence as hawks prefer environments with water sources.

In addition, hawks in Oklahoma have certain behaviors regarding their preferred environments. For example, they use tall trees or high perches for hunting. This helps them keep an eye on their hunting grounds and spot prey more effectively.

Something interesting about hawks in Oklahoma is their exceptional eyesight. According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, some species of hawks have been observed spotting prey from a mile away!

Feeding habits

Hawks in Oklahoma have a range of feeding habits, determined by their species and what they like. Knowing how they feed is crucial to learn about their behavior and how they connect with their environment.

Feeding Habits:

Hawk Species Primary Prey Secondary Prey Feeding Behaviors
Red-tailed Hawk Rodents, rabbits Birds, snakes Often perches and hunts; rarely catches its prey while flying due to size.
Cooper’s Hawk Birds (small to medium-sized) Small mammals, reptiles Noted for its stealth and speedy flight; usually ambushes its food in thick vegetation.

Broad-winged hawks are known to feed on other birds, as well as amphibians, small mammals, and insects. They usually hunt by hovering in the air and quickly diving down to capture their prey. They are also adept at catching prey mid-flight.

Conservation efforts and challenges for hawks in Oklahoma

To better understand the conservation efforts and challenges for hawks in Oklahoma, delve into the sub-sections: Threats to hawk populations, and Conservation initiatives and organizations working to protect hawks. Uncover the factors that endanger hawk populations, as well as the notable initiatives and organizations dedicated to their preservation.

Threats to hawk populations

Oklahoma hawks face many threats to their populations and conservation efforts. These include: habitat loss, climate change, illegal hunting, and pesticide use.

  • Habitat loss: Urban and agricultural spread removes natural homes and food sources from hawks.
  • Climate change: Unstable weather changes migration and breeding habits.
  • Illegal hunting: People capture or kill hawks for sport or trade, impacting their numbers.
  • Pesticide use: Pesticide use in agriculture harms prey species on which hawks depend.

To protect hawk populations:

  • Conserve habitats: Provide nesting sites and food sources.
  • Educate/Awareness: Inform people about the importance of hawks.
  • Sustainable farming: Encourage eco-friendly farming practices.
  • Collaboration: Work together to conserve hawks.

By tackling these challenges, we can secure hawks in Oklahoma and keep them for future generations.

Conservation initiatives and organizations working to protect hawks

Organizations in Oklahoma strive to protect hawks and promote biodiversity. For instance, the Oklahoma Audubon Council and The Nature Conservancy actively partake in conservation initiatives. They acquire land, conduct restoration projects, and hold educational programs. Moreover, they team up with local communities to spread awareness about the significance of conserving hawks and their habitats.

Specialized rehabilitation centers are also available to provide medical care and rehabilitation services to injured hawks. HawkWatch International has been conducting hawk migration research in Oklahoma since 2005. They collect data on hawk populations, behaviors, and migration patterns through banding projects and field surveys. This helps us learn more about hawks and support conservation efforts.

Unfortunately, hawks have been facing threats due to habitat loss, pollution, electrocution from power lines, and illegal hunting. Fortunately, thanks to the commitment of these organizations and conservation efforts, progress has been made in protecting these raptors.

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation estimates that there are around 22 species of hawks in the state. This great variety underlines the need for continued conservation efforts to ensure the survival of these birds.

Interesting facts about hawks in Oklahoma

Oklahoma is home to the majestic hawks – birds of prey. Here are some cool facts about them:

  • Hawks in Oklahoma come in various species, such as the Red-tailed Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, and the eye-catching Swainson’s Hawk.
  • They have incredible vision and can spot prey from far away.
  • They have sharp claws and hooked beaks, which help them catch and tear apart their prey.
  • Hawks keep the ecosystem in balance by controlling rodent populations.
  • They create nests with sticks and materials from their surroundings, and often choose tall trees and man-made structures.
  • These remarkable creatures fly long distances, across continents.

Also, hawks are highly adaptable to diverse habitats, from open grasslands to dense forests. This allows them to live in many parts of Oklahoma.

For bird enthusiasts visiting Oklahoma, carry binoculars for a better view of these incredible creatures. Observe them from a safe distance so as not to disturb their natural behavior.

Exploring the world of hawks in Oklahoma is a thrilling experience. Their graceful flight and keen hunting skills always mesmerize locals and tourists. Appreciate their beauty and unique characteristics the next time you come across these stunning birds of prey.



The Oklahoma Hawks are a power in the basketball world. Their wins show they have what it takes to dominate. They have strong defenses and offense, and can compete against any rival.

Coach Johnson is a great leader, and his guidance has been essential in getting the team to where they are.

The Hawks are also active in the community. Through charity events and initiatives they are setting an example of responsibility. This goes beyond athletics and makes them ambassadors for their city.

It has been highlighted that ESPN recently placed the Oklahoma Hawks in the top three teams of this season.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the mascot of the University of Oklahoma?

The mascot of the University of Oklahoma is the Sooner Schooner, not a hawk.

2. Are there any hawks in Oklahoma?

Yes, hawks can be found in Oklahoma. The state is home to several species of hawks, including the red-tailed hawk and the Cooper’s hawk.

3. Are there any professional sports teams in Oklahoma called the “Hawks”?

No, there are no professional sports teams in Oklahoma with the name “Hawks.” The most popular professional sports team in the state is the Oklahoma City Thunder, which is an NBA basketball team.

4. Are there any colleges or universities in Oklahoma with a hawk as their mascot?

Yes, there are colleges and universities in Oklahoma with hawks as their mascots. For example, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has a hawk as its mascot.

5. Are hawks protected in Oklahoma?

Yes, hawks are protected in Oklahoma. They are considered birds of prey and are protected under state and federal laws, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

6. Are hawks dangerous to humans?

Hawks are generally not dangerous to humans. They are shy birds and will typically avoid human contact. However, if a hawk feels threatened or is protecting its nest, it may act defensively. It is best to observe hawks from a distance and not approach them or their nesting areas.

Julian Goldie - Owner of ChiperBirds.com

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.