Nature Canada

Let’s Chat Hawk Conservation

Did you know? There are a total of nine different hawk species in Canada and they are each amazing in their own way!

Hawks are known as birds of prey or raptors because they pursue other birds and small animals for food. These animals can live for over twenty years in the wild and are found all across the country (Machtans et al., 2013). Thankfully, many of the hawk species in Canada are not at risk as of 2021 under the Species At Risk Act. But this does not mean we shouldn’t raise awareness about the threats their populations face! In fact, the threatened Ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis) population is now half the size that it was in the 1920s and their population continues to decline (COSEWIC, 2008). 

The nine hawks found in Canada are as follows: 

  1. Red-tailed hawk (Buteo hamicensis) 
  2. Sharp-skinned hawk (Accipiter striatus
  3. Cooper’s hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
  4. Northern Goshawks (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus)
  5. Rough-legged hawk (Buteo lagopus)
  6. Ferriginous hawk (Buteo regalis
  7. Broad-winged hawk (Buteo platypterus)
  8. Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni)
  9. Osprey (Pandion haliaetus

As with many other bird species, hawks are susceptible to the impacts of climate change, habitat loss, habitat degradation and fragmentation—especially when it comes to the immense loss of prairie grassland habitat in Canada. Additionally, tall buildings and skyscrapers without proper bird deterrents or window stickers pose threats to hawks due to building collisions (Machtans et al., 2013). This is just another reason to speak up to help make your city Bird Friendly! 

So what can you do to help? Check out the following PDF to learn more about how you can create better habitats for Ferruginous hawks and share this article with a friend. Got some free time this week? Consider checking out the Festival of Hawks in Amherst, Ontario starting on September 14th, 2021 hosted by Essex Region Conservation. 

Machtans, C. S., C. H. R. Wedeles, and E. M. Bayne. 2013. A first estimate for Canada of the number of birds killed by colliding with building windows. Avian Conservation and Ecology 8(2): 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.5751/ACE-00568-080206

COSEWIC. 2008. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Ferruginous Hawk Buteo regalis in Canada. Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. Ottawa. vii + 24 pp. (www.sararegistry.gc.ca/status/status_e.cfm). Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, COSEWIC

Species at Risk Public Registry, SARAA ll 

All About Birds; Ferruginous Hawks

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