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Hawks, Eagles, Kites (14)

Swallow-tailed Kite *
A fairly common summer resident, March - September, found in the wooded regions of the eastern part of the county and the Green Swamp. Usually one at a time are observed but small flocks of six or more have been reported.

White-tailed Kite
One report from Kicco WMA in eastern Polk county during the summer of 1999. A second report in March of 2001 of two birds at the Avon Park Bombing Range may indicate nesting.

Snail Kite *
A permanent resident, locally common on the lakes of eastern Polk, but absent elsewhere. Unknown in the county 10 years ago. LWCBC of 9 in 1997. (E)

Mississippi Kite
A rare straggler with only a couple of records. The last one was seen at SCP in October 1987.

Bald Eagle *
Fairly common permanent resident throughout the county. Flocks of over 20 have been seen soaring high in the sky. The numbers have been growing steadily. LCBC high count of 99 in 1999 (T)

Golden Eagle
One immature bird from the Green Swamp in 1992, and an adult bird in Lakeland in 1996.

Northern Harrier
A common winter visitor, September through April, over the open fields of the region. The earlist date is 16 September 2000 at PPM. Winter maxima of 18 in November 1999. LCBC high count of 26 in 1985.

Sharp-shinned Hawk
A fairly common winter visitor, September through March, near woods and thickets. This species has declined in recent years. Almost always found singly. LCBC high count of 13 in 1993.

Cooper’s Hawk *
An uncommon permanent resident of wooded parts of the county. This hawk has increased in numbers over the last few years. It’s nearly identical in shape and color to a Sharp-shinned but it has a rounded tail. A nest in suburban Winter Haven fledged one bird in 2001, and in June of 2002 two young were found. Nest building starts in late February. LCBC high count of 8 ib 2003 and 7 in 1997.

Red-shouldered Hawk *
A common permanent resident almost always found near water. Over 10 a day can be found in winter. Look for wing windows. LWCBC of 53 in 1997; LCBC 48 in 1997.

Broad-winged Hawk
Only a few records, last reported in 1995.

Short-tailed Hawk *
A rare summer resident, February through October, in eastern Polk and SCP. Only a few records each year. One on the LWCBC in 1998 and 1999, 1 on the LCBC in 2000.

Swainson’s Hawk
Two records, last from Winter Haven in December 1980.

Red-tailed Hawk *
A common permanent resident of the open fields. Perches atop utility poles near roads. Twenty or more can be seen in a day in winter. LCBC high count of 44 in 1986.