Broad Wing Hawk

by Lisa Birtch
(London, Ontario, Canada)

I was waiting to post this until I got confirmation of my sighting from e-bird Canada (a reporting sight where bird watchers go to let others know what is happening), but since someone else just reported a sighting, I thought I'd do it now.

I saw this Hawk at Fanshawe Dam here in London on February 7th.

At first I thought it was a Coopers or a Sharp Shinned Hawk - they are all very similar, but after comparing the photos with bird ID programs, I decided it was a Broad Winged Hawk.

Apparently they are not supposed to be here yet - they migrate south for the winter. That makes both this sighting and the one that was reported earlier today significant - I think it means that spring is getting ready to, well, spring!

I am attaching a couple of photos. They aren't very sharp, but they are good enough to see the bird!

Thanks again Lisa, for your great report and pictures, I'm sure our Canadian readers will be delighted to know that spring can't be far off!

I will also post this on our facebook page.

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Not a Broad-winged Hawk
by: Pete

Hey there,
Just noted that you had this posted as a Broad-winged Hawk, but it looks more like a Sharp-shinned Hawk to me, owing to the pictures you have filed. If you research both Hawks on the internet you will find that Broad-winged Hawks are likely still in Central and South America at the time you posted this. They never winter here, and eat mostly amphibians, reptiles, insects and some mammals. They just wouldn't survive here in Canada in the winter.

Records show that they don't arrive back until about April 12 at the earliest. Most arrive some time in early May.

If you want to discuss identification details, I can be reached through Nature London, the nature group in London, Ontario (formerly McIlwraith Nature Club of London).

Check out the website at Nature London

Middlesex County Bird Record Chair

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