Our Hawks

Thank you for taking the time to visit our collection of hawks. Please consider helping us feed our beautiful birds.

Cooper’s Hawk: Accipiter cooperii

DOB: 2004     Sex: Male   Weight: 11 oz    Wingspan:18 in

Our beautiful male Cooper’s hawk is a first for REF. He is a survivor of West Nile virus, which may have infected him when he was only a few days old. In 2004 he was found on the ground in a cemetery in Omaha, Nebraska, with his flight feathers about half-way grown in. He was weak, and covered with fly eggs and maggots. After removal of the parasites, he was in the process of being raised in isolation of humans (to prevent imprinting) when all of his wing and tail feathers pinched off and dropped, a classic symptom of West Nile virus in raptors. Shortly afterwards, the retina of his left eye detached, leaving him blind. This is another devastating outcome of West Nile.
Cooper\'s Hawk Feeding Options


Broad-winged Hawk: Buteo platypterus

DOB: 2016     Sex: Male   Weight: 12 oz      Wingspan: 24″
We received this smallest member of the North American genus Buteo from the Carolina Raptor Center. He had been admitted almost exactly one year previously as a young of the year with a fracture of his proximal left humerus.  While the bone healed well, the alignment is a bit off and he cannot fly well enough for release.

Harris’ Hawk: Parabuteo unicinctus
DOB: 1994 Sex: male  Weight: 22 oz  Wingspan: 3 ft


Our Harris’ hawk was acquired from a captive breeder in Louisiana
to be used in our flying programs. This species
is the most commonly used raptor for flying demonstrations and socializes well with people.

Harris\' Hawk Feeding Options

  Red-Shouldered Hawk: Buteo lineatus
DOB: 2015    Sex: M    Weight: 24 oz     Wingspan: 30 in
This bird came to us from the Carolina Raptor Center. He was admitted to CRC in June 2015 with a dislocated left ulna and a fracture of the proximal radius. Apparently he was found on the ground and was still being fed by his parents; his crop was full of June bugs when he arrived at the center. His wing was wrapped, and both the dislocation and fracture resolved and healed nicely. However, sometime during August, while loose in a pre-release flight pen, he managed to break off his left hallux talon, along with the bony core, right down to the skin. Because he was admitted as such a young bird, and probably never caught anything more than an insect on his own, CRC deemed the loss of the entire hallux as a severe enough injury to render him unreleasable.
Red-shouldered food Options

Thornton Water FEstival New Swainsons 2

Swainson’s Hawk: Buteo swainsonii
DOB:  2013    Sex: male   Weight:  31 oz     Wingspan: 36 in

Just in time for International Migratory Bird Day on May 12, 2018, we welcomed the newest addition to our raptor family, a male Swainson’s hawk! This beautiful little guy, originally from Texas, was taken illegally from the wild as a nestling, along with his sister. His primary and secondary flight feathers were cut off on one wing, presumably to keep him under control, and after confiscation and a year in rehabilitation to molt, he is unfortunately still not able to fly and maneuver properly.

Swainson\'s Food Options

  Red-tailed Hawk: Buteo jamaicensis
DOB:  2003    Sex: female   Weight:  50 oz    Wingspan: 48 in
This Eastern subspecies of the red-tailed hawk was found in Nebraska in
September 2003 as an immature bird. She had an old but still-healing fracture at her
left elbow region and was unable to fly. During the course of rehabilitation
that fall, she broke her right leg, whereupon it was discovered that the entire
right side of her body was filled with shotgun pellets, some of which
had penetrated her leg bones, which probably caused the break. Though she is
able to fly reasonably well, it was decided not to release her
because she still slightly favors her right leg. From 2006 to 2019 she flew in some of our indoor programs, and has now retired from flying.
Red-tailed Feeding Options

Rough-legged Hawk: Buteo lagopus
DOB: unknown   Sex: female  Weight:45 oz     Wingspan: 48 in
This adult female rough-legged hawk was found injured and unable to fly on the outskirts of Brewster, Nebraska in December 2004. Some concerned hunters had seen her in the area for nearly a week and contacted Raptor Recovery Nebraska. She has an old fracture in the distal portion of her humerus, but still has some flight ability.
Rough-legged Feeding Options

Harlan's Light MorphWEB300

Red-Tailed Hawk: Buteo jamaicensis harlani 
DOB: unknown  Sex: male  Weight: 32 oz  Wingspan: 36 in


This red-tailed hawk was confiscated by the Missouri Department of
Conservation in August 2012 and brought to the University of Missouri’s raptor rehabilitation project in Columbia. In November 2011 he likely collided with an unknown object and fractured his right wrist. From what we and our colleagues in Missouri can surmise, he received virtually no medical care whatsoever and was taken to a facility not permitted for raptors, where he was housed in a small cage barely 4 by 4 feet wide and tall. As a result, he has virtually no movement in his right wing, but is a remarkably calm bird, considering his previous circumstances. He is also one of the rarest color “morphs” (also known as “phases”) of the red-tailed hawk: a light-morph Harlan’s hawk,
Buteo jamaicensis harlani .
Harlan\'s Food Options

 Ferrug Portrait 023WPress

Ferruginous Hawk: Buteo regalis
DOB: 1995    Sex: female    Weight: 55 oz   Wingspan: 52 in
This bird came to us in August 1996 from a local falconer who could no longer adequately care for her. She was taken out of the wild at 20 days of age and is imprinted to humans.
Ferruginous Food Options

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