Sharp-shinned Hawk

Species Name: Botaurus lentiginosus


Species Distribution in Massachusetts


Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Special Concern

Habitat Description

Mixed woodlands and coniferous forests containing spruce, pine or Atlantic white cedar with nearby open areas for hunting. Breeding habitat is usually near open areas and in the vicinity of water.

Threats to Survival

Historically were slaughtered in the 19th and 20th centuries because of false beliefs that they affected songbird populations. DDT and other pesticides and the resulting biomagnification that affected the hawk were also problems that they faced.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

The population is trending upwards due to lamented fragmentation of forest and increase in forest openings. The species is not a priority for management because the landscape supports their needs, with suburbanization particularly suiting them.