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Types of Hawk

There are a variety of different hawk species. There are only two which are indigenous to Britain .

Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

Goshawks are found throughout Europe , Asia and America . Although they became extinct in Britain at the end of the 19th Century, they are beginning to appear again, perhaps because birds which have escaped from falconers are breeding in the wild

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Widespread across Asia and Europe , Sparrowhawks are not native to North America . They are still found in Britain .They depend on hedgerows for nesting and food supply and so are much rarer in areas where hedges have been removed eg East Anglia


Some birds which are described as hawks are really buzzards. We have examples of two:

Red Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Known as the Red Tailed Hawk in America ( and increasingly here ) - it is really a buzzard. Native to the West Indies and Central America it is also found throughout the United States and parts of southern Canada .

Harris Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus harrisi)

These are perhaps the easiest bird of prey to train. They are very tolerant of noise and distraction and reliably return to the glove.Harris Hawks, unlike other birds of prey, can be flown together in a team. They rarely fight over prey. Because of this they are excellent birds for flying demonstrations.