By Len Blumin from Mill Valley, California, United States (Broad-winged Hawk) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Len Blumin from Mill Valley, California, United States (Broad-winged Hawk) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Broad-winged Hawk (Buteo platypterus)

Range
Breeds throughout eastern United States, from southern Canada to northern Florida. Most often seen in Virginia during fall migration when enormous "kettles" of Broadwings migrate south. Do not winter in Virginia.

Size
Length          13-17 inches
Wingspan     32-39 inches
Weight          9-20 ounces

Habitat
Woods; can be found in a variety of woodland habitat but often in deciduous woods.

Diet
Small mammals such as mice, voles and chipmunks; also frogs, snakes and lizards. Apparently also eats insects on its South American wintering grounds.

Characteristics
Usually still hunt from a perch such as an oak tree. Aggressive and vocal. Short, blunt wings and relatively long tail, for maneuverability. Strongly banded black and white tail in adults. Only raptor to migrate in flocks numbering up to thousands at a time.