Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in Kentucky

Kentucky, known for its rich biodiversity, is home to magnificent birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, and falcons. These apex predators are instrumental in maintaining the ecosystem’s health. Besides contributing to the ecological balance, the enlisted raptors add a touch of grandeur to Kentucky’s skies.

Hawks Eagles and Falcons in Kentucky (KY)

List of Different Types of Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in Kentucky


There are only two types of eagles native to Kentucky.


  • Sharp-shinned Hawk
  • Cooper’s Hawk
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Broad-winged Hawk
  • Red-tailed Hawk
  • Rough-legged Hawk
  • Ferruginous Hawk (Accidental)
  • American Goshawk (Accidental)
  • Swainson’s Hawk (Accidental)

They are all true hawks belonging to the genera Accipiter or Buteo. The small hawks of the state are the Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, of which the latter is the smallest in Kentucky. The broad-winged hawk visits the state during the breeding season from April to August. Northern Kentucky is where the rough-legged hawks live. 


The Bluegrass State is home to a diverse array of falcons, from large peregrines to small kestrels, that wow you with their keen eyesight, incredible speeds, and lethal hunting abilities.


  • Osprey


  • Northern Harrier

The best place to see the osprey is along the Ohio River. But it likes frequenting any area near water bodies. The red-tailed hawk, the commonest in the state, can be found all over Kentucky but more on the western side of the Mississippi River. Eagle viewing cruises, tours, and eagle watch weekends are organized in several eagle-watching hotspots in Kentucky Lake to allow visitors to see the birds in their natural habitats.

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