Print E-mail

Birds with Hooked Beaks


Birds with hooked beaks are almost always meat-eaters. Eagles, hawks, owls and falcons all have hooked beaks, as do shrikes.


New World Vultures – Family Cathartidae

black vulture

The Black Vulture has a hooked beak but lacks the powerful talons of eagles and hawks.  Compare with the Turkey Vulture. 


Eagles, Hawks, Kites – Family Accipitridae

bald eagle

The white feathers on this Bald Eagle indicate it is not quite in full, adult plumage. Often found near water.



golden eagle

The adult Golden Eagle has pale white tail bands. Juvenile Golden Eagles have white wing windows and white at the base of the tail.



red-tailed hawk

The Red-tailed Hawk is often observed sitting on telephone poles or trees near highways. Plumage is highly variable.



red-shouldered hawk

The Red-shouldered Hawk is woodland species.



coopers hawk

The Cooper's Hawk feeds on other birds as well as other small animals. Juvenile has brown-streaked breast. Compare with very similar Sharp-shinned Hawk.



mississippi kite

The Mississippi Kite has long, pointed wings. Primarily a bird of the south-eastern United States in the summer, winters in South America.



Owls – Family Strigidae

barred owl

The Barred Owl is a crepuscular species (active in the late evening and early morning). Compare with Spotted Owl.



great-horned owl

The Great Horned Owl has a very wide range which extends across most of North America. Note the light eye color, compared to the dark eye of the Barred Owl (above).



eastern screech-owl

The Eastern Screech Owl has two color phases, red and gray. Compare with the Western Screech-Owl.



Shrikes – Family Laniidae

loggerhead shrike

The Loggerhead Shrike consumes grasshoppers, mice and small snakes. Compare with Northern Shrike.




Amaze your friends

Can you identify the young of these small but skilled predators by knowing when they molt?

Selecting a field guide

Read about the top field guides.

Choosing a pair of binoculars

Selecting the best pair of binoculars for your specific needs.