The broad-winged hawk (Buteo platyperus) is a fairly common breeder throughout BCR 14. This bird prefers a matrix of openings, such as pasture, field, swamp, and forest openings such as landings or haul roads. Although relatively common, it is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more of the states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This hawk prefers deciduous or mixed deciduous-coniferous forest combined with openings of various sizes. For nest-building, it prefers larger yellow or black birch trees, often along low traffic roads. Openings of various sorts are essential for hunting.

Its territory size is over 50 acres.

Habitat Management Practices

Maintain larger yellow and black birches, particularly near openings, back roads and wetlands, across 50-acre units consisting of hardwood or mixed wood forest types. The same 50-acre units should contain at least 5 percent in openings of various sizes.

When assessing properties for habitat potential, look for soils that will produce hardwood or mixed-wood types such as Becket, Marlow, Plaisted, Dixfield, Howland, Peru, Scituate, Skerry, Success, Berkshire or Sunapee in northern areas. Similar soils in southern areas include Bernardston, Canterbury, Charlton, Gilmanton, Henniker, Metacomet, Montauk, Paxton, Pittstown, Sutton or Woodbridge. There are others depending on the location in BCR 14.

Silvicultural Practices

  • Use even-aged management with harvest blocks of 5 acres or larger—ideally in repeating units of 50-acres or more,
  • Use a 120-year rotation age and standard entry periods.
  • The temporary openings created by this cutting method will help provide the required opening component.
  • Maintain at least 5 percent of each unit in permanent openings. Wetlands, haul roads and backcountry roads, can contribute to the opening component.
  • Retain larger black or yellow birch trees for nesting on the edges of wetlands and roads as part of routine wetland protection or roadside visual quality management.
  • The nesting period is from early April to mid-June. Curtail operations near known active nest sites during that period.

Additional Information