Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in Minnesota

Minnesota’s hawks, eagles, and falcons population is diverse and noteworthy. The bald eagle, once endangered, now thrives, serving as an iconic symbol of national pride. The red-tailed hawk, a versatile hunter, adapts to changing habitats. The peregrine falcon’s successful reintroduction after near-extinction demonstrates conservation triumphs. These raptors collectively signal Minnesota’s commitment to preserving its natural heritage and maintaining ecosystem equilibrium.

Hawks Eagles and Falcons in Minnesota (MN)

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


There are only two types of eagles native to Minnesota.

  • Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle

While some bald eagles stay in Minnesota year-round, most migrate south for the winter. Minnesota has approximately 9,800 nesting pairs of the species. They have adapted well to suburban environments in the state, often living in areas around popular lakes.


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

The small hawks in Minnesota are the sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks, of which the former is the smallest in the state. The large ones are the red-tailed and ferruginous hawks.



  • Osprey


  • Northern Harrier

The Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory in Duluth is an excellent place to watch the migrating raptors traveling from their summer breeding areas to wintering destinations in the fall. Birders can watch pairs of nesting bald eagles at Superior National Forest, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, and Trout Lake in summer. The Voyageurs National Park and Bear Head Lake State Park are also popular eagle-viewing spots but don’t have nests.

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