25 Simply Stunning Pictures of Hawks

Updated: Jan. 31, 2024

Soaring in the sky or perched on a wire, these fantastic pictures of hawks captured by our readers will take your breath away.

277692430 1 Amanda Paoletti Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Amanda Paoletti

Osprey Reflection

“This pair of osprey have nested in the parking lot where I work for several years. I wait patiently each year to get a photograph of them, but since the setting is in the center of town, most pictures of the hawks are littered with wires and buildings. This particular morning, this osprey was visiting a puddle left over from the previous night’s rain, and I was instantly drawn to its reflection,” says Birds & Blooms reader Amanda Paoletti.

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250405408 1 Adam Turner Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Adam Turner

Red-Tailed Hawk Pictures

“I went out to fill the bird feeders this morning and this guy was sitting on the fence waiting for squirrels,” says Adam Turner. After you see these pictures of hawks, check out these outstanding pictures of owls.

252222882 1 Janet Reid Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Janet Reid

Red-Shouldered Hawk in Flight

“I was in the field behind my house doing some repairs to my amateur weather station, which had been mysteriously suffering from missing anemometer cups—the little white cups that spin in the wind. While I was out there, my chief suspect, a red-shouldered hawk, landed on the fence and began watching me closely. I went to the house and retrieved my camera. As I continued to work, the hawk dive-bombed me. I guess he didn’t like me messing with his weather station!” says Janet Reid.

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309340113 1 Amber Fortowsky Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Amber Fortowsky

Swainson’s Hawk

“I spotted a Swainson’s hawk sitting on a fencepost in rural Saskatchewan during summer. This picture was taken with a Canon 80D and Sigma 150-600 mm zoom lens. The bird was none too pleased with me stopping to take hawk pictures and let loose a shriek to send me on my way,” says Amber Fortowsky.

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Courtesy Janice Duff

Sharp-Shinned Hawk

“When I glanced out my window and saw this hawk perched on the backyard fence, I ran to grab my camera. I captured a photo as this amazingly beautiful creature was landing in the bird bath to test out the water. What an exciting moment! I just had to share the beauty!” says Janice Duff.

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276558706 1 Cathie Katz Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Cathie Katz

Ferruginous Hawk

“Driving through the Rocky Mountain Arsenal last December, I spotted this juvenile ferruginous hawk sitting on a fencepost. A number of photographers had pulled their cars over, but he was absolutely fine with all the fuss. I think he had just finished a good meal (notice the red stain on his chest). I took this photo with my Canon 70D with a Tamron 70 – 300 lens. It was wonderful to be able to watch him watch us for about a half hour,” says Cathie Katz.

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pictures of hawks
Courtesy Susie Mcadam

Taking Off

“I was out for a spring walk and came across this beautiful red-tailed hawk taking flight along the River Channel in Penticton, British Columbia. I love this picture as it catches the moment the hawk is leaving his perch amongst the spring buds,” says Susie Mcadam.

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pictures of hawks
Courtesy Diana Hernandez

Cooper’s Hawk

“This hawk came down on my backyard pergola to retrieve a dove it caught and posed there for this photo. I used a Canon 7 d extended lens for this shot,” says Diana Hernandez.

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Bnbbyc19 Tom Mcgee 2
Courtesy Tom Mcgee

Backyard Pictures of Hawks

“These two hawks showed up in the trees of our backyard a few years ago in the spring,” says Tom Mcgee.

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251913255 1 Dylan Abel Bnb Bypc 2020
Courtesy Dylan Abel

Osprey Nest

“I’ve been watching this osprey family use the same nest and raise their young for the past five years. It’s great to watch the family grow,” says Dylan Abel.

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309368221 1 Bev Lindorff Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Bev Lindorff

Pictures of Hawks on Country Roads

“A birthday gift of a new Sigma 600mm lens for my Canon 5D Mark III DSLR camera turned my photography in a whole new and wonderful direction. Observing and photographing birds has since become a passion for me. On this particular day, hearing that distinct hawk cry was all I needed to stop the car to get out and take a look. Not far down the fence-line perched on a post, I saw a juvenile Swainson’s hawk perched, with mom fast approaching overheard. I loved being able to see and capture the beauty of her magnificent wings and the detail of her feathers,” says Bev Lindorff.

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277843109 1 Molly Lemasters Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Molly Lemasters

Leucistic Hawk

“This summer, my husband and I had been seeing this beautiful white bird flying around our house in Lakeville, Minnesota. One day it finally landed in the very top of a tree. I was so excited to get a picture with my Canon Rebel T6. I was then able to figure out what type of bird it was. So amazed to find out it is a leucistic red-tailed hawk! Just beautiful!” says Molly Lemasters.

275685237 1 Michelle Diehl Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Michelle Diehl

Momma Bird

“This is a red-shouldered hawk and her three babies. The nest was, and is still, located just a football field’s length from our house high up in a tree. I watched the nest being built, babies being born, babies being taken care of, and babies leaving the nest. I felt very connected to this bird family. Momma hawk never showed aggression while I was there taking pictures of the hawks,” says Michelle Diehl.

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308487967 1 Anne Clump Bnb Pc 2022
Courtesy Anne Clump

Juvenile Broad-Winged Hawk

“It was a hot summer day in western Pennsylvania, and I was walking around a nature park by my house with my Canon R5 and Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM lens. I did not have any luck on the trails so I stoped by the pond. A juvenile broad-winged hawk landed on a branch by me. What makes this photo special for me is how lucky it was that the hawk decided to land by me, on a nice perch, and with a distant background,” says Anne Clump.

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252415324 1 Charlie Coxe Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Charlie Coxe

Osprey at Sunset

“I saw this female osprey on her nest near the James River in Virginia. I rode the ferry several times for three days wanting an awesome shot. When she came back to nest each time, she would dive down and then swoop upwards in full spread before landing gracefully. She was more frequent in the evening and I knew the sun would be behind her backlighting her. You always hear about being in the right place at the right time, well this shot proves that for me,” says Charlie Coxe.

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278029538 1 William Mcdonald Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy William Mcdonald

Hidden in the Trees

“While I was out looking for owls this particular afternoon, I heard crows mobbing something in the distance and decided to take a look. This red-shouldered hawk is what I found perched high in the trees. I found a good opening between the branches and got this shot with my Nikon D700 and 200-500 f5.6 VR,” says William Mcdonald.

275394137 1 William Sandefur Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy William Sandefur

Hawk on a Wire

“I was out walking with my camera on a bright November day in Loxahatchee, Florida, when I saw this majestic hawk. It was as though he was looking right back at me. I love the sharp detail that I captured in this photo and how you can count each feather on this incredibly beautiful bird,” says William Sandefur.

pictures of hawks
Courtesy Mary Mittelstaedt

Hawk on the Hunt

“When I was in my backyard, in Waupun, Wisconsin, and heard rustling one August day, I looked over and saw this Cooper’s hawk trying to get a sparrow for his lunch,” says Mary Mittelstaedt.

pictures of hawks
Courtesy Jackie Elmore

Neighborhood Bird of Prey

“I took this photo of a red-shouldered hawk this summer as it perched quietly in the shade waiting for its next prey. Each evening, it would appear in our neighborhood and could easily be located by upset robins and blue jays calling to disapprove. I felt lucky for the opportunity to photograph this beauty,” says Jackie Elmore.

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pictures of hawks
Courtesy Deborah Zebroski

Hawk Camouflage

“We finally identified this beautiful bird as a Cooper’s hawk. It was a very special surprise to walk by the living room window and find this juvenile sitting on my flower/herb trough in the front yard. I actually did a double-take! We were in a panic to find the camera before he flew away, but he stayed for about 20 minutes!” says Deborah Zebroski.

pictures of hawks
Courtesy Nancy Bumpus

Hawk and a Hummingbird

“An old dead tree in the woods near by backyard makes a perfect perch. The photo is special to me because it is not every day you see a red-tailed hawk and a ruby-throated hummingbird side by side. The size difference of these two birds is just amazing. I love how the hummingbird seems to be taunting the large hawk as if to say catch me if you can. There was a squirrel on the ground that would make a much tastier meal and an easier catch,” says Nancy Bumpus.

251516254 1 Steve Shattles Bnb Bypc2020
Courtesy Steve Shattles

Twin Hawks

“I had seen a pair of adult Cooper’s hawks courting and mating back in May of this year. In June saw the result of three immature ones hanging around watching my backyard birds every day. I was lucky enough to capture pictures of two hawks together one day as they did everything in unison,” says Steve Shattles.

275538363 1 Clifford Price Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Clifford Price

Curious About a Butterfly

“The red-tailed hawk was minding his own business, perched on his post. Just then, along comes this butterfly. It sits right down next to him. The hawk looked at the butterfly like ‘Oh boy, snack time! But the butterfly flew to safety just in time,” says Clifford Price.

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275749331 1 Frank Kocher Bnb Bypc 2021
Courtesy Frank Kocher

Hawk Pictures in the Rain

“A pair of hawks moved into our back yard this winter, took over a squirrel’s nest, and proceeded to raise their new family much to the chagrin of our regular bird population. The tree they moved into is only about 20 yards from our back porch so it has provided numerous opportunities to take pictures of hawks. This image was taken during a very heavy rainfall,” says Frank Kocher.

pictures of hawks
Courtesy Liz Tabb

Hawk Stare Down

“I almost always pass several red-tailed hawks sitting on roadside electrical wires that are suspended over grassy fields. The birds watch the ground intently searching for any movement that might be their next meal. This particular morning, the beautiful hawk was hunting from a low branch. I pulled off the road and he watched me with an intense stare but was patient for several minutes before he flew to another hunting spot,” says Liz Tabb.