Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in Michigan

Michigan’s hawks, eagles, and falcons, like the bald eagle and peregrine falcon, are vital ecosystem indicators. They adapt to diverse habitats and reflect the state’s dynamic wildlife.

State and federal laws protect all the raptors as they are an essential and enjoyable part of the environment. So they should always be kept out of harm’s way.

Hawks Eagles and Falcons in Michigan (MI)

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


There are only two types of eagles native to Michigan.

  • Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle

The iconic bald eagle is found across Michigan. Late October to mid-November is the best time to watch golden eagles during the fall migration when they are heading south to states like Tennessee and Kentucky.


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

The rare short-tailed and ferruginous hawks appeared once in Michigan in 2005 and June 2023, respectively. The former is a small hawk while the latter is the largest in the state, earning it the epithet of ‘Megahawk.’ Winter sees hawk diversity increase due to the incorporation of the migrating population.

If you are listening to a common “kuck, kuck, kuck” or “cak, cak, cak” you should know a Cooper’s hawk is nearby. Its sound is bassier than the higher-pitched call of the sharp-shinned type. The red-tailed hawk is the most common in Michigan.



  • Osprey


  • Northern Harrier

At least five significant hawk watch sites occur on the stretch extending from the Detroit River to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. They offer spectacular views of the raptors as they migrate north to their nesting grounds in spring or south to wintering grounds in fall. Bald eagles and their nests can be sighted in Long Lake/Ramona Park, West Lake, and Gravel Lake/Cedar Lake.

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