How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

As the hawk is considered the king of the sky, most of us assume that these birds are always roaming and hunting in different areas. Is it true? How long do hawks actually stay in one area? The answer may surprise you!

Surprisingly, most southern hawks stay in one area throughout their lives. But some hawk species migrate during winter, particularly those living in northern and Central America. However, how long a hawk will stay in one area depends on several factors, including hawk specie, availability of food, environment, mating partner, and human presence.

In the rest of the article, I’ve explained all these factors in detail and also talked about an interesting topic which is how long hawks stay in one area while hunting. If you are interested in the most powerful sky predator, stay tuned till the end.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

Most of the hawk species stay in one area for their whole life. This goes for those hawks that live in a favorable environment. 

On the flip, the hawks that live in cold countries need to migrate in the winter seasons. Hawks living in those countries have adapted to this schedule. They stay in their territory in the summer and spring. But as soon as winter comes, due to intense cold weather, they need to migrate.

Along with hawk species and environment, several factors impact how long a hawk will live in one area.

Here I’ve discussed those factors in detail. Let’s jump to that.

Hawk Specie

As I told before, hawks prefer to stay in one area throughout their entire lives. In fact, they use the same nest year after year until it becomes unusable. 

But there is also some exception to this. Some bird watchers noticed that Cooper, Northern Goshawk, and some other hawks built a new nest every year.

However, most of the time, they built their nest somewhere near the old one. But sometimes, they choose another area to nestle.

Availability Of Food

Hawks will stay in one area as long as there are sufficient prey and hunting opportunities. If for any reason, there is scarcity is food, they will leave their territory to look for better habitats with more hunting opportunities.


Environment plays a vital role in this case. Hostile environments like cold weather compel hawks to migrate.

Some hawks species including Broad-Winged, Rough-legged, Colorado, Northern Goshawks and Northern Red-Tails migrate in the winter season. They travel from Canada and the Northern parts to the southern and central USA.

Human Presence

Hawks living in the wild don’t like human contact. But nowadays, humans are deforesting rampantly and building habitant there that actually belong to wild animals and birds.

Because of such interference, hawks need to leave their habitat and move to another place.

Okay, as now you know all the factors that influence how long a hawk will stay in one area, let’s see why they stay in the same area.

Presence Of Mate

As I said above, hawks spend their whole life with the same mating partner. But they don’t stay together throughout the year. Indeed they just stay together in the mating seasons, build a nest, and take care of their babies for several weeks. After that, they would live separately on their own.

Sometimes, one mate dies or is hunted by predators. In such cases, the other partner will seek it out in the next mating season. If it doesn’t find its mate, it will change that territory and look for a mate in another area.

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area While Hunting?

How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area? 1
Image Credit: Pradeep Gaur, Canva

You must have known hawks for sharp eyesight and fast flight. But let me introduce you to a new aspect of this fascinating bird.

Hawks are very patient predators. They can wait for hours for prey. When they find one, they won’t jump in. Instead, they will wait for the perfect time to swoop down.

They will calculate whether it would be successful prey or not. Because hawks are smart enough not to spend energy on an unsuccessful hunt.

So how long will hawks stay in one area while hunting?

Actually, there’s no definite answer. Some hawk watcher claim that hawks will not stay more than 6 hours in one area while hunting.

But I would say it depends on that particular hawk.

Final Words

If there are sufficient prey and hunting opportunities, favorable weather without human interference, and available mating partner, most hawk species would spend their whole lives in the same area.

However, some hawk species migrate in the winter season. But they will also return to their territory in the summer and spring seasons.

Well, while hunting, hawks also stay in the same area for several hours.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *