Join us on a journey to explore the largest hawks in the world that grace our planet as we look into their characteristics, habitats, and what makes them stand out from others.
Among these awe-inspiring creatures, some species stand out for their sheer size and commanding presence.
Spanning across different continents, the largest hawks in the world showcase the epitome of raptor prowess.
1. Upland Buzzard
The Upland Buzzard is considered one of the largest hawks in the world based on measurements such as body length and wingspan. It has two morphs: pale and dark.
They can be found in various habitats, including open areas, grasslands, and semi-arid deserts.
Their diet includes small mammals, birds, lizards, snakes, and insects.
They have a body length of 26-28 inches Wingspan of 56-63 inches, and a Weight of 2-4.5 pounds
2. Northern Goshawk
The Northern Goshawk is one of the largest hawks in the world.
They are endowed with a Body Length of 20.9-25.2 inches, a Wingspan of 40.5-46.1 inches, and a Weight of 1.4-3 poundsIt has a gray plumage, with the top being darker than the underside.
These hawks sit on high perches and quickly attack their prey.
They are typically found in coniferous forests and sometimes in deciduous hardwood forests. Females are larger than males.
Gray bird with darker top and white stripes over the eyes. They hunt by sitting on high perches and quickly attacking prey.
3. White-tailed Hawk
The White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) is not only a notable hawk in the United States but also one of the world’s largest hawks.
With its average length of just over 20 inches, an impressive wingspan of 51 inches, and a weight of 2.3 lbs, this magnificent bird commands attention with its agile flight and striking appearance.
While the White-tailed Hawk is predominantly found in Southeast Texas within the United States, it thrives beyond its borders, spreading its wings across the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.
As an apex predator, the White-tailed Hawk primarily preys on small mammals such as rabbits and lizards, showcasing its formidable hunting skills.
Its size and presence make it an awe-inspiring sight and a testament to the remarkable diversity of hawks around the globe.
4. Red-tailed Hawk
The Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) holds the distinction of being one of the largest hawks in the world.
With its average length of 19 inches, an impressive wingspan of 49 inches, and an average weight of 2.4 lbs, this muscular bird commands attention with its robust build and majestic presence.
As the most widespread and common hawk in North America, the Red-tailed Hawk can be found across every continental state, much of Canada, and even extends its range to encompass Central America and the Caribbean.
The Red-tailed Hawk displays remarkable plumage variation, ranging from pale to almost black, adding to its allure and making it easily recognizable.
5. Rough-legged Hawk
The Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus) is significant among one of the largest hawks in the world.
With an average body length of 21 inches, an impressive wingspan of 53 inches, and a typical weight of about 2.2 lbs, this magnificent raptor bird commands attention with its size and striking appearance.
While it summers in Northern Canada and Alaska, the Rough-legged Hawk winters in various parts of the United States, except the Southeast region.
Notably, it also extends its range to Northern Europe and Asia. The
Rough-legged Hawk showcases captivating plumage morphs, with two main versions: a light morph characterized by gray, brown, and dark areas with white coloring, predominantly found in the west, and a dark morph, featuring a very dark gray and black body with light feathers only under the wings, more prevalent in the east.
6. Ferruginous Hawk
The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) is built with an average length of 23 inches, an impressive wingspan of 56 inches, and a weight of around 3.5 lbs; this magnificent bird of prey commands attention with its size and strength.
While it is primarily found in the American Southwest, ranging as far north as Alberta in the summer and moving into Southern Mexico in the winter, the Ferruginous Hawk showcases its versatility and adaptability.
It exists in two plumage morphs: one light morph, characterized by white and red on the body, and one dark morph, displaying a uniform dark brown coloration.
This large raptor bird feeds on a varied diet, including rodents, small birds, and snakes, cementing its status as an apex predator.
The largest hawks in the world represent the epitome of power and grace in the avian kingdom.
From the majestic Ferruginous Hawk, dominating the skies of the American Southwest, to the agile White-tailed Hawk, reigning over the landscapes of Southeast Texas, these magnificent birds captivate our imagination and remind us of the incredible diversity found in nature.
Their impressive size, commanding presence, and exceptional hunting skills make them apex predators and vital components of their ecosystems.