What is the largest hawk in WV?

Answered by Antonio Sutton

The largest hawk in West Virginia is the red-tailed hawk. This magnificent bird is not only the largest hawk in the state but also the most commonly seen one. Its size and striking features make it easily identifiable in the wild.

One of the key characteristics of the red-tailed hawk is its distinctive red tail, hence the name. The upper side of the tail is chestnut red, creating a beautiful contrast against its dark brown body. This feature is particularly prominent in adult red-tailed hawks, making them stand out in the sky.

Another distinguishing trait of the red-tailed hawk is its red shoulder patches. These patches are visible when the hawk is perched or in flight, providing further evidence of its identity. The combination of the red tail and shoulder patches make the red-tailed hawk a truly remarkable sight.

In addition to these features, red-tailed hawks also have narrow white bands on their tails. These bands are more noticeable when the hawk is in flight, and they further aid in differentiating this species from other hawks.

I have had the privilege of observing red-tailed hawks in West Virginia on multiple occasions. One particular encounter stands out in my memory. I was hiking through a wooded area when I spotted a red-tailed hawk perched on a tree branch. Its impressive size and vibrant red tail caught my attention immediately. I watched in awe as it spread its wings and gracefully took flight, revealing the white bands on its tail. It was a truly breathtaking experience to witness the beauty and power of this magnificent bird.

To summarize, the red-tailed hawk is the largest hawk in West Virginia. Its chestnut red tail, red shoulder patches, and narrow white bands on the tail are distinct features that set it apart from other hawks. Observing this majestic bird in the wild is an unforgettable experience, showcasing the wonders of nature in West Virginia.