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Nature Notebook – Broad-winged Hawk

In the beginning of 2018, we added Kettie, a broad-winged hawk, to our education animal crew. Kettie had trauma that effected sight in his right eye and nerve damage to the end of his right wing, making him non-releasable back to the wild. Since his arrival, staff has been training him to be used in educational programs and he has made an excellent addition.

Broad-winged hawks are a smaller hawk, with short broad wings and tail, streaked with brown, white and a buff chest. This small raptor nests in forested areas and hunts for small prey including mammals, insects, reptiles, birds and amphibians.

Broad-winged hawks are a migratory bird of prey and travel thousands of miles north in the spring. These hawks can be seen in large groups, or “kettles,” during their spectacular migration. Be on the lookout for this diurnal migrant through October, when they head from their nesting sites in the north to their South American wintering grounds.