Orchard Park, NY
Photograph - High Resoloution Photography
This species is widespread in North America, Central America, South America and the Greater Antilles. Below the distributions of the four groups (see taxonomy) are described as they roughly occur from north to south:
The nominate (A. s. striatus) group is widespread in North America, occurring throughout a large part of USA and Canada, except in the ice-covered regions of the far north. Populations in the northern part of the range migrate south and spend the non-breeding season (winter) in southern USA, Mexico and Central America as far south as Panama, with a smaller number spending the winter in the Greater Antilles. Resident populations exists in temperate parts of USA, Canada (in a few coastal regions), Mexico (highlands from Sonora to Oaxaca), Cuba, Hispaniola and
These birds surprise and capture all their prey from cover or while flying quickly through dense vegetation. They are adept at navigating dense thickets and many attacks are successful, although this hunting method is often hazardous to the hawk. The great majority of this hawk's prey are small birds, especially various songbirds such as sparrows, wood-warblers, finches, wrens, nuthatches, tits, icterids and thrushes. Birds caught have ranged in size from a 4.4-g Anna's Hummingbird to a 577-g (1.2-lb) Ruffed Grouse and virtually any bird within this size range is potential prey. Typically, males will target smaller birds, such as sparrows and wood-warblers, and females will pursue larger prey, such as American Robins and flickers, leading to a lack of conflict between the sexes for prey. These hawks often exploit backyard bird feeders in order to target congregations of ideal prey. They often pluck the feathers off their prey on a post or other perch. Rarely, Sharp-shinned Hawks will also eat rodents, lizards, frogs, snakes, and large insects.
January 23rd, 2013
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