The Broad-Winged Hawk is the smallest buteo in the Mid-west; despite this, it is one of the most common hawks in North America. Their backs are dark brown, their undersides white with faint red horizontal barring. The tail of the hawk is brown or gray with broad white bars. Both the male and female are similar. Immatures have vertical, browner barring on their underneaths and a brown tail with a light black bar across it.
Pairs are formed by both male and female making calls and aerobatic manuevers to the other. The Broad-Winged Hawks make a small stick nest in the crotch of a deciduous or coniferous tree, and mostly used for only 1 year. 2 to 4 eggs are laid, and incubated by the female for 31 days.
Found in the eastern half of the US, the Broad-Winged Hawk does not live west of the Rocky Mountains. Lives throughout Canada, the Midwestern US, the Gulf Coast and Florida, and in the Carribean Islands.
The Broad Winged Hawk lives in dense forests, usually deciduous. They use the part of the forest that other hawks do not. They often feed near roads, trails, or other open spaces in the forests. They migrate to Central or South America in the winter, grouping into huge "kettles" as they do.
The hawks are not very selective; they will eat anything from rodents to frogs, lizards, birds and insects. They hunt from perches or from the air.