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March is Hawk Month

Updated: 7 days ago

Today is the first day of HAWK month here at Calgary Wildlife! All this March we will be featuring fun and interesting facts about our native hawk species.

ferruginous hawk for hawk month

Here in Alberta we commonly see four main hawk species:

- Ferruginous Hawk

- Harrier Hawk

- Red Tailed Hawk

- Swainson's Hawk

Did you know that the Ferruginous hawk is on Alberta's endangered species list?

Ferruginous hawk one of alberta's endangered species

The Ferruginous Hawk population in North America is now only a quarter of what it was in the early 1900’s, and its range is only half of what it was in the past. The loss of and fragmentation of its habitat, native grasslands, are a serious threat to the population. Ferruginous Hawks also suffer from a lack of nest sites as more and more trees are cut down in their habitat.

They are also threatened by human activity and the loss of prey, particularly our Richardson’s ground squirrels.

Thankfully the species is protected by the Canada National Parks Act in the Grasslands National Park of Canada and is also protected under Alberta’s Wildlife Act and the Manitoba Endangered Species Act.

Stay tuned for more information about all of our high flying hawks, coming all this month.


For our second post for hawk month, let's talk about the reasons that WE LOVE HAWKS here at Calgary Wildlife, and why you should too!

We live in the lands of the rolling prairies here in Alberta, and living within our hills, grasslands, and farms are many little creatures whose populations can get out of hand if left unchecked. Thankfully, we have our birds of prey, also known as raptors, including our native hawk species to keep them under control. Now that's a great reason to love hawks!

Hawks are excellent hunters and provide much needed pest control

Not only are hawks useful to us humans for pest control, but their purpose-built features are just awe inspiring. Hawks feature tough, hooked beaks and sharp, curved talons which make them experts at catching and devouring snacks like mice, ground squirrels, small birds, snakes and other rodents.

But more than anything else, their amazing eyesight is the key to their hunting success. By using their binocular vision, hawks can spot tiny animals from all the way up in the sky. Did you know that a rough-legged hawk can spot prey from 100 feet away?

Rough-legged hawks can spot [prey from 100ft away

Lastly, we love hawks because the presence of raptors like hawks in the wild serves as a barometer of ecological health. Hawks are predators at the top of the food chain; because threats like pesticides, habitat loss, and climate change have the most dramatic impact on top predators, we refer to them as indicator species.

These birds deserve our respect as well as our admiration for all that they do.

Stay tuned for our last HAWK MONTH post coming soon.



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