The sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus) has been in breeding decline in BCR 14 for a long time although there is some evidence that it has either stabilized or increased lately. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.

Habitat Needs

This bird prefers coniferous or mixed-wood forests with clearings or bordering brushy meadows. It generally forages over open areas or forest edges rather than the forest interior. It mainly nests in conifers often near an opening.

Food sources are usually small birds along with rodents, amphibians and insects.

Home range is up to ½ square mile.

Habitat Management Practices

Establish and maintain a series of shrubby openings across every 50 acres of mature softwood or mixed softwood-hardwood. Locate some of the openings adjacent to mature softwoods for nesting cover.

When assessing properties for habitat potential for this species, look for soils that are more poorly drained. These include soils series such as Bemis, Cabot, Lyme, Monarda, Moosilauke, Pillsbury Ridgebury, and Stissing in BCR 14. These soils fall into the Important Soils Group IIB.

Silvicultural Practices

  • Group selection using groups ranging from 1 to 3 acres.
  • To maintain the shrubby condition in the temporary openings more consistently over time, decrease the time between entry periods, perhaps to 5 years, while treating less area per entry.
  • Group IIB soils are operable in winter only so harvesting is not likely to interfere with breeding and nesting success.

Additional Information