Hawks, Falcons and Owls

Known as raptors, North American birds of prey are fascinating to learn about. Learn how to identify hawks, falcons, eagles and owls.

Bold and Gold: Meet the Golden Eagle

Learn what a golden eagle looks like, what golden eagles eat, and where you can spot these large birds of prey in North America.

How to Identify a Northern Saw-Whet Owl

The northern saw-whet owl is one of the smallest and cutest owls—as long as you aren't a mouse. Learn where...


Go Up North to See a Great Gray Owl

The great gray owl is the largest owl in North America, measuring over 2 foot tall! Find out where you...


19 Fun Owl Facts You Should Know

Here are some fascinating and fun owl facts about this one-of-a-kind group of birds. Learn about owl eyes, feet, sounds...


The American Goshawk Has a New Name

A majestic accipiter, the American goshawk (previously called the northern goshawk) rules from the forest trees. Learn how to spot...

Falcon vs Hawk: How to Tell the Difference

These raptors look similar at a glance. But with a keen eye to the sky, you can learn to distinguish...


Meet the Osprey Bird: Sea Hawk of the Sky

Learn what an osprey bird looks like and where birders can find this raptor. Also find out what they eat...

How to Identify a Red-Shouldered Hawk

Mixing up red-shouldered hawks with the more common red-tailed hawks? Give your bird of prey ID know-how a boost with...


The Peregrine Falcon Is the World’s Fastest Animal

Faster than a speeding bullet? Maybe not. But the peregrine falcon can top 200 miles mph when it dives, beating...


How to Identify a Harris’s Hawk

If you see dark-colored raptors in the southwestern desert, you might've spotted Harris's hawks. Find out why they're known as...


How to Identify a Red-Tailed Hawk

Which hawk are you seeing? Here's how to tell if your bird is an adult or juvenile red-tailed hawk. Learn...

Meet the Raptors: Amazing Birds of Prey

Find out why these raptor bird species, including hawks, owls, kites and more, are some of the most captivating birds...


Meet the Merlin: Falcon on the Hunt

Learn about the merlin falcon: a stocky, swift bird of prey with medieval European ties. Plus, are they connected to...


How to Identify a Northern Harrier

What is that bird of prey gliding over the grasslands? Learn what a northern harrier looks like, and what similarity...


Head West to See a Ferruginous Hawk

Learn what a ferruginous hawk looks like, what foods are on the menu, and where to find this uncommon bird...


Look for a Rough-Legged Hawk in Winter

Learn what a rough-legged hawk looks like and when and where birders can spot these birds of prey in North...

The American Kestrel Is the Smallest Falcon

Learn all about the American kestrel, a small bird with a big presence. Plus, learn what you can do to...


How to Identify a Broad-Winged Hawk

Learn what an adult and juvenlie broad-winged hawk looks like and where to find them during breeding season and migration.


Look for Swainson’s Hawks in the Summer Skies

Learn what a Swainson's hawk looks like, what they eat and where (and when) birders can find them in North...


How to Identify a Barred Owl

Learn what a barred owl looks like and what their call sounds like. Plus learn where you can spot these...


Meet the Long-Eared Owl and the Short-Eared Owl

Learn how to tell the difference between a long-eared owl and a short-eared owl. Find out where you can spot...


The Elf Owl Is the Smallest Owl in the World

The elf owl is as small as a sparrow. Learn what these tiny birds of prey look like, what they...


How to Attract Owls to Nest in Your Backyard

Where do owls live? Welcome these nighttime fliers to your yard. Experts reveal how to attract owls and provide shelter...


Great Horned Owl: The Greatest Nocturnal Hunter

If you hear owl sounds in your neighborhood, it’s likely a great horned owl. Learn about their size, wingspan, nests,...


8 Fascinating Burrowing Owl Facts

Forget the treetops—a burrowing owl nests underground. Some use the dens of other animals. Look for these small owls in...

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Barn Owls: Ghostly Nocturnal Birds of Prey

Look for flashes of white when driving on dark country roads, and you might spot a barn owl. Learn about...


Why Do Crows Chase Hawks and Owls?

If you've ever seen a group of crows swooping after a hawk, you might wonder — why do crows chase...


7 Fascinating Falcon Bird Facts You Should Know

From the smallest falcon to the fastest flying bird on earth, discover interesting facts about the falcon bird family.


Discover the Amazing Types of Owls in North America

Watch your backyard come to life as amazing owl species swoop through the night skies. Get to know the types...


ID Challenge: Cooper’s Hawk vs Sharp-Shinned Hawk

A common backyard birding challenge is learning how to ID a Cooper's hawk vs a sharp-shinned hawk. Look closely at...


Eastern vs Western Screech-Owl: What’s the Difference?

It’s difficult to ID Eastern and Western screech owl species—location is your best bet. Hear their call and learn about...