Sharp-hinned hawk

Sharp-shinned hawk

Scientific Name

Accipiter striatus

Identifying Characteristics

Very similar to the Cooper’s hawk, but about one-third smaller. The tail of the sharp-shinned hawk is squared instead of rounded.


Found throughout the forested regions of North America through Central America into Argentina and Brazil. A highly migratory species, it leaves the northern United States in September and winters in Central America. A few sharp-shinned hawks are seen around bird feeders in Minnesota every winter.


Like other accipiters, this is a bird of woodlands where it nests and hunts.


The sharp-shinned hawk builds a stick nest in deciduous trees or coniferous trees.

Feeding Habits

Feeds primarily on small songbirds.

Raptor Center Data

During the fall migration, the clinic admits 15-20 sharp-shinned hawks.

Conservation Notes

With a stable population, the sharp-shinned hawk is afforded no special conservation status.