Accipiters (Raptors)

Graduation Requirements
Science Biological
Equipment/Materials Needed

The family of hawks, eagles, falcons, harriers, and old-world vultures

Badge Completion Requirements


There are at least seventeen types of hawks in North America and all but six of these species can be found in Canada and the USA. The Broad-winged Hawk, Cooper's Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Goshawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Sharp-Shinned Hawk, and the Swainson's Hawk live throughout areas of North America. The Common Black-Hawk, Harris's Hawk, Gray Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, and the Zone-tailed Hawk can be found in the southern States and Mexico.

Each of these hawk types has adapted and survive in many different habitats. They can be found in conifers, living in wet areas and gliding over fields in search of their prey, to perching on lookouts watching for movement below.


The Cornell Lab of Ornithology 




This section will require a field study

     Video 5 different hawk species in flight

      Identify the species of hawk

Learn the sound that 5 native species of hawks make

Make detailed informational signage regarding North American Hawks in powerpoint

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of North American Hawks. Please include the above "prompts" in your presentation


A falcon is a medium-size raptor bird. Its black crown, nape and black wedge create the look of a helmet. Its long, pointed wings are typically slate gray on the upper and back sides. Its throat and underside are white or cream, and it typically has black or brown bars on its sides and abdomen. It has blue eye rings and feet ranging from green to yellow, depending on the sub-species. Its sharp, hooked beak has a notch on the edge. Females outsize the males, or "tiercels." Females weigh up to 1,350 grams, and males weigh up to 800 grams.

Falcons, one of the fastest predators, use a variety of techniques to seek, attack and kill prey. Falcons feed on small birds such as doves and pigeons, which make up between 20 and 60 percent of a falcon's diet, depending on its habitat. Falcons have excellent eyesight and can see their prey up to 1 mile away. The birds dive, or stoop, at more than 185 mph and catch their prey by surprise, catching it in midair, so the speed kills the prey instantly. Unlike owls, falcons hunt during the day.


Discuss the unique adaptations that falcons have evolved 

List 5 different types of falcons

Explain the process of pinning a feather 

Visit a Raptor Rehabilitation Center in your area

Interview a Raptor specialist 

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of falcons. Please include the above "prompts" in your presentation


The eagles are the largest members of the raptor family. In North America we have at least four types of eagles, the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle are residents of the continent. Both of these birds share the same areas into the far north in the warmer seasons and down to the southern states and Mexico. Eagles were listed as endangered birds but with the aid and protection given to them, they are once again becoming a common sight. 

The other two other eagles are visitors from Asia and Eurasia and find their way to North America through the Aleutian Islands. They are the Steller's Sea Eagle and the White-tailed Eagle, also known as the "Gray-sea Eagle". These large Asian birds of prey have been seen in the western regions of Alaska's mainland and out on the Aleutian Islands.


More information about eagles can be located at:



Make a template for information signage regarding the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle

     Please include:


          Home Range

          Identifying Markings


          Interesting facts 

Please include detailed information on a selected eagle to add to this collection

Please develop and submit a presentation demonstrating your understanding of eagles. Please include the above "prompts" in your presentation.