Where Do Hawks Live?

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Hawks live all over the world in diverse habitats, particularly forests, woodlands, open fields and any place with high places to nest. Find out how hawks, like many birds of prey, like to have a high vantage point for hunting with information from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

They're one of the most diverse and prolific groups of the Birds of Prey. They occur all over the world, everyplace except Antarctica. I'm Janice Creneti, I've been teaching Environmental and Animal Science for about twenty years and I'm here to answer the question, "Where do Hawks live?" Well, as I mentioned Hawks are one of the largest groups of Birds of Prey. What does it mean for an animal to be a Bird of Prey? Well that means unlike a Cardinal that might be a seed eater or a Robin that's catching a worm, these animals actually hunt. Birds of Prey are pretty easy to identify by two key features that they use for catching their victims. One would be the curved bill that they use for ripping the animal apart, they can't swallow it whole, and then the short talons on their feet are what they actually use to catch the animal. You might have seen an Eagle dive into the water to grab the fish or you might have been lucky enough to see a Hawk in your neighborhood going after a mouse or a snake. As I said, Hawks are found all over the Globe, everywhere except Antarctica and they're found in diverse habitats. They're found in forests, they're found in woodlands, they're found in open fields, they're found in prairies. But just about every habitat has one thing in common, it needs to have high places for the animal to nest and also high places for the animal to perch where it sits waiting for for its food. Hawks will circle over a large open area looking for their prey, keeping an eye out for that rabbit or that snake or that mouse and then they'll dive down and grab the animal. But they need that high vantage point so that they can look over a large area and spot that prey animal and grab it while it's still, while there's still a chance to be dinner. An Osprey is another very common species of Hawk that we have here in Florida, where I live. Ospreys were very endangered when they were using DDT in the environment. It was weakening their shells and causing a lot of the baby birds not to ever hatch out of the shell to begin with. But thanks to the elimination of pesticides and protection of the habitat Osprey are rebounding. A lot of people get Osprey confused with Bald Eagles but the best way to tell the Osprey is the white runs all the way down the center, whereas a Bald Eagle will just have white on the tail and on the head when it's fully mature. Hawks are every important for keeping the population of rodents in check. They're an important predator, healthy for the Ecosystem as I said, they took a big impact because of some Human negligence but, now we've cleaned up our act, the Hawks are rebounding. Red Shouldered Hawk is an absolutely beautiful animal and one of the largest Hawks that you'll probably see in your neighborhood. You can tell it's a Red Tailed Hawk because of it's red tail. Important birds to protect and fun to watch. I'm Janice Creneti and this is "Where do Hawks live?"


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