Hawks, Eagles, and Falcons in Missouri

Many hawks, eagles, and falcons call Missouri their home. The bald eagle graces its skies, an emblematic sight during winter months near its waterways. Red-tailed hawks are year-round residents, often seen perched or soaring above open fields. Meanwhile, American kestrels, North America’s smallest falcon, add vibrant flashes of color to the landscape with their hovering hunting technique. 

Hawks Eagles and Falcons in Missouri (MO)

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


There are two types of eagles native to the state.

  • Bald Eagle
  • Golden Eagle

Thousands of eagles migrate south from their nesting range in the Great Lakes States and Canada to hunt in Missouri every fall. They start living wherever they find plentiful food and open water. Missouri reports more than 2,000 bald eagles during a typical winter. There are more than 175 active nests in the state.


  • 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)
  • Harris’s Hawk (Accidental)

The small hawks native to the state are the sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks. The hawks are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act since 1918 and state laws. So they cannot be shot or hunted.



  • Osprey


  • Northern Harrier

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, December through February is the best time for eagle-watching across the Show-Me State. It is among the leading lower 48 states for bald eagle spotting thanks to its abundant lakes, rivers, and wetlands. Some of the best places to see them are the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis, Audubon Center at Riverlands east of West Alton, Lake of the Ozarks at Bagnell Dam Access, and Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area.

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