Free Hawk Identification Guides • Download 19 High Quality PDFs Today

Free Hawk Identification Guides

These free hawk identification guides are perfect to supplement your birding books.

Hawks are notoriously difficult to identify. So brush up on your skills with a variety of resources from around the US. Many of these documents are from universities or state wildlife agencies.

hawk identification guide

Raptors of Ohio Field Guide

While this guide is specific to Ohio, many of these birds of prey are found across the US.

The Ohio DNR offers the beautiful free Raptors of Ohio Field Guide PDF with all the different common and uncommon day- flying raptors in the state. 

Each bird of prey includes an in-flight image, perched image, and underside illustration with key markings.

This is a fantastic starting point for identifying hawks.

Show off your skills- take our beginner red-tailed hawk vs turkey vulture id quiz!

Raptor ID Workshop 

This incredibly detailed presentation by the Eastern Massachusetts Hawk Watch Association has hundreds of pictures and tips for identifying raptors of the eastern US.

Hawk Migration Association of North America Hawk Guide 

If you want a free resource to identify hawks in flight, this is the guide for you! The HMANA 2 page pamphlet is chock full of every detail you’ll need, including silhouettes from the front and below, plus field marks 

Montana Raptors Guide

This 5 page PDF gives a quick overview of the 16 raptors found in Montana. 

This guide stands out because of the hawk identification quiz at the end! 

The Nebraska Bird Library

The Nebraska bird library has a detailed website on various birds of prey, including pictures. 

Hawk silhouette guide

This beautiful guide to viewing raptors from below helps hawk watchers during each migration season. You can download a free pdf. Or order printed or laminated copies.

It’s focused on birds of the northeast. 

Raptors of New York

This illustrated guide shows some of the species found in New York State. 

Identifying Iowa’s Raptors

This concise, 2 page document shows field marks of various birds of prey. 

Idaho Birds of Prey Leaflet

The Idaho Game and Fish website has a leaflet on identifying birds of prey. It has great silhouettes of the raptors to aid in identification. 

The Peregrine Foundation 

Although it’s called The Peregrine Foundation, they have photos and tips for identifying birds of prey on their website. 

Wild About Birds of Prey

Illinois has a good website about different birds of prey found in the state. And it includes tips for identifying different classes of raptors. You can view it here.

All About Birds

Of course, no bird identification guide would be complete without reference to Cornell University’s All About Birds

You can look up a hawk species and compare photos of males, females, juveniles, and similar looking species.

Looking for the best hawk id books? Discover our top choices.

Identification of Coopers and Sharp Shinned Hawks

It’s notoriously difficult to id these two accipeters. You’ll be an expert after reading this guide on the key differences. 

Identifying Red Tailed Hawk Subspecies

This scientific paper goes through tips to identify red tailed variants in the field.

You might also enjoy our post on identifying red tailed hawks

Identification of Dark Morph Red Tailed Hawks

Here’s another paper with gorgeous photos to help you identify red tails!

Harlan’s Hawk Identification 

Jerry Liguri and Brian Sullivan are two of the world’s premier hawk experts. Here’s their guide to identifying Harlan’s hawks vs eastern and western red tails.

Flight Identification of Common North American Buteos

This pdf illustrates different North American hawks.

Photographic Guide to Aging Cooper’s Hawk Nestlings

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has a great photo guide to determining the age of Cooper’s hawk nestlings.

Identification of Bald Eagle vs Osprey

This brochure by Arizona’s Game and Fish Department lists helpful tips.

Wrap up- Free hawk identification guides 

I hope you’ve discovered some nice resources to identify the bird of prey you’ve found with our list of free hawk identification guides. 

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