A Gray Hawk is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Gray Hawks. We have also put together a list of fun Gray Hawk t-shirts, Gray Hawk bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird watching items.
About Gray Hawks
The Gray Hawk is a tropical species that cross the Arizona and Texas border rarely. It is gray in color similar to storm clouds with neat stripes on its underparts. Most of their days are spent soaring through the sky or perched overlooking their territories. They prey on lizards and dart quickly towards them picking them off the ground with their razor-sharp talons.
Description and Identification
These birds are about 46- 61 cm. They Have a short wingspan, but a very uncanny-looking
long tail. Their tail possesses their distinctive feature, they have a white striped pattern on
the gray and the tip of the tail is white. Both males and females have a dark gray top, white
underside, and the rest of their body gray. The juveniles have a dark brown top, and
patterned underside. Their calls sound like a long mournful whistle.
Gray Hawk Color Pattern
Adults glimmer of a dark gray color with pale bared chests banded black and white. The underside of their tails is white while their wingtips tend to be dark. Juveniles have brown backs and patterned with white cheeks.
Gray Hawk Size
They are slightly smaller than normal hawks and have broad short wings. Females are significantly larger than males and may seem to be long-legged when perched. Adults have a standard weight of 391 – 470 g. The length and wingspan vary across individual birds and species.
Gray Hawk Behavior
Gray hawks sit below the forest canopy searching for prey that they catch using short and precise flights. They soar during the afternoon hours with their wings level and tails fanned out. Their flight patterns consist of flaps and glides.
What Gray Hawk Eat
Vertebrates make up most of the diet of Gray Hawks. These mainly include reptiles. They
prey on a variety of lizards such as horned lizards, whiptail lizards, spiny lizards, etc.
Snake variety such as garter snakes, whip snakes, etc is absolutely loved by these birds.
Other than reptiles, Gray Hawks even prey on birds, these include doves, kingbirds, and a
variety of quails. Among the miscellaneous animals that the Gray hawks include in their diet,
mice, frogs, deer beetles, and grasshoppers are their favorites.
They exclusively feed on vertebrates mainly reptiles consisting of the lizard family. They are known to eat snakes such as garter snakes and few amphibians like toads. They prey on birds too, for example, the small songbirds.
Where Gray Hawks Live
Cottonwoods and Willows that grow on river banks are the comfort zone of Gray Hawks.
They rarely move out of these because the high trees allow them to hunt easily. The Gray
Hawks that are in the USA are more area restricted were the preference of habitat is
concerned. Gray Hawks seek refuge in places with thorn scrubs, riverside Trees, woodlands,
open clearing, and forests. Popular trees that they live on amongst the birds that live in
Arizona is Arizona Oak, Arizona walnut, and velvet ask.
Gray Hawks stray from their cottonwood habitats and willow on riversides. The tall trees help the Gray Hawk hunt at an advantage. In the United States, their habitat is more restricted.
Range and Migration
Gray Hawks are found in very limited States in the USA. Low Rio Grande Valley in Texas,
along the Rivers in the South of Arizona, and parts between the North of Costa Rica to the
South of the United States is where they are mainly spotted. Due to their range being so
limited, they are even called Mexican Goshawks. These birds are short-distance migrants,
they reside in Arizona from March to October, and then may or may not migrate to the
southern parts of the USA. Those that are already in the south do not migrate even in the
Gray Hawk Lifecycle
Pairs perform sky dances and aerial games using dead prey of sticks making dives to fetch them. Their nests are laid on the outer branches in the top half of the canopy. Both adults participate in the building of the nest. Females lay 1 to 4 eggs per breeding season and incubate them for 32 to 34 days. The young ones take an average of 30 days before they can leave the nest.
Gray Hawk Nesting
Gray hawks prefer to build their nests on the outer branches of trees towards the upper side.
They avoid being close to the main bark. They nest in Riparian trees such as cottonwood,
willow walnut, ash, and oak. The male and female make the nest together using small live
twigs taken from live trees. The size of a nest is about 20 inches wide and 4 inches
deep. They use live cottonwood branches and line them with willow leaves or bark. They
even add a cushioning to it using it as a foundation during the early stages of building the nest and right before the female lays eggs, to protect their young ones from injury. Before
settling down, the birds ensure that the cottonwood tree selected by them is surrounded by
mesquite woodlands as it is a necessary criterion while nest hunting.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Gray Hawks
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Gray Hawks are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Gray Hawk T-shirts
If you love the Gray Hawk you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Gray Hawk Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Gray Hawk is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Gray Hawk Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Gray Hawk. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders For Gray Hawk
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Gray Hawk
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.