How Long Do Hawks Stay In One Area?

Do you ever see hawks just wondering around in one area?

You may be thinking – How long do hawks stay in one area?

The answer to this is..

A hawk can stay perched at a single place for hours while searching for prey. Besides, hawks are quite territorial regarding their nesting sites. So much so, that a hawk may spend its whole life living in the same area. 

In this article you’re going to discover 

  • Do hawks usually stay in the same area?
  • Why are hawks hanging around my house?
  • What do hawks do at night?

So if you’re interested in learning about why hawks tend to stay in one area, or maybe how you can get rid of them because they’re chilling around your house, then you’re going to love this article

Sound good?

Let’s get started!

Do Hawks Usually Stay In The Same Area?

Mostly, yes.

Since people frequently associate hawks with power and freedom. Therefore, they assume that hawks must be the travelers of the avian world. And so, they complain:

“But why would a Hawk, of all Birds, will want to stay in the same place?”

Here is why:

1. Territorial Behavior

Hawks display their dominance through territorial behavior. Thus, they are naturally quite possessive about their set territories, which may range from about 200 meters to 30 kilometers.

Since territorial behavior starts from an early age and surges with maturity, therefore, most hawks tend to stay around their birthplace.

2. Mates and Nesting Sites

Normally, hawks mate for life. 

Though, mates usually come together only during the breeding season.

However, they tend to reuse the same nest, every year.

Therefore, once a hawk finds a suitable mate, it prefers to stay in the same territory. 

3. Migration Pressure

Unlike other predators, hawks can eat almost all organisms from birds and small rodents to toads, turtles, and even fish.

Occasionally, a hawk may even eat from a carcass.

For that reason, hawks don’t feel much need to migrate.

And so, they will only migrate if they perceive that “Winter is Coming for House Hawk”, 

4. Hunting Habits

While several raptors circle and soar to look for prey, the hawks tend to silently wait and observe.

And so, vultures are often spotted circling above a carcass.


You wouldn’t know a hawk is around until it dive-bombs to capture its prey.

They can stay still for hours, sometimes exceeding 6 hours at a time.

This patience often causes an approaching prey to lower its guard. 

Now, you may be concerned about a hawk having a sore neck or spine.

However, hawks are opportunistic hunters and will try to hunt every time they deem a moment good enough. 

Though, most such ventures turn out as failures.

Therefore, they return to the same spot, which may seem as if they have never moved.

Related article – Why do hawks circle?

But if hawks are perched around your place, you may be wondering:

Why Are Hawks Hanging Around My House?

Well, hawks tend to avoid humans. 

Odds are that your house is offering some sort of prospective prey or a challenge.

Which is why hawks may be hanging around your place because you have:

  1. Bird feeders, with several small birds eating in your yard. Such a “Regular songbird hanging spot” is like an invitation to an almost free “hawk buffet”. 
  2. Small pets in the house such as hamsters, parrots, chickens, or even cats and dogs. Hawks have been reported to snatch away cats or disembowel dogs.
  3. Windows Mirrors. The reflection of a hawk may trick the raptor into thinking that its reflection is a rival in its territory. In this case, the hawk will repeatedly hit your windows.  

Sometimes a hawk may be perching in your house because it is too sick or injured.

That being the case, the hawk will neither fly out nor leave your place even during the night.

What if the hawk is just chilling in your yard?

What should you do?

Let’s find out…

What To Do If You Have a Hawk In Your Yard?

Serve the hawk some tea, take pictures, and make some lovely Instagram memories.


Now, that hawk skulking in your yard may be a threat to your songbirds or your house pets.

And so, you must make that hawk leave. 

Here’s what you could do.. 

1. Use Hawk Repellents

You can repel the hawk by:

  1. Setting up a life-sized owl or eagle prop. Since these raptors hunt hawks, therefore, hawks avoid their territories. However, for a prop to work you may have to move it around every few days.

A prop with stirring or flapping motion usually works better than stationed props.

  1. Producing glare using some reflective surfaces that may hinder a hawk’s vision. And so, hawks avoid such places. This can be done by using old CDs, small mirrors, aluminum foil, or reflective tape. 

However, reflective rods with their spiral structure are far better. These provide effective bright flashing as well as unnatural light swirling.

  1. Operating high-frequency anti-hawk noise deterrents. These are shrill sounds that are audible to hawks, but not to humans. Therefore, these repel hawks but may also repel other birds. 
  2. Using traditional scarecrows, which are best to repulse birds from an open field. So, you can also use some scare-the-hawks human prop.
  3. Installing roosting spikes on walls. Since a raptor is unable to perch on thin stickers, therefore, it would be unable to sit on your walls. 
  4. Fitting night lights on your rooftop. 

2. Protecting the Pets

This may involve keeping your pet out of that hawk’s reach.

You can protect your pets by:

  1. Keeping your pets away from windows and open spaces.
  2. Accompanying your pets during their outside walk.
  3. Setting up netting on pet-loitering spaces. For instance, setting up chicken pens with wires overhead.
  4. Removing perching spaces from your yard, such as leafless branches.
  5. Feeding your pets indoors. 
  6. Taking all your pets outside together.
  7. Adopting a bigger dog or perhaps a rooster to keep a watch on your pets.
  8. Getting rid of other yard animals that may fall prey to the hawk such as rodents and pests.

If you have a rabbit then you may want to read my article – Do Hawks eat rabbits? I talk about ways you can protect your little bunny

3. Securing Small Birds At Birdfeeders

I suggest removing the birdfeeder for a few days.

Otherwise, you may protect your yard birds by:

  1. Sheltering the feeders by putting them under some tree or shade. Since raptors locate prey from above. Therefore, sheltering the birdfeeder will block the hawk’s view, thereby, protecting the bird.
  2. Installing caged feeders that will stop a hawk or other predators, from grabbing the small birds.
  3. Not feeding your birds on the ground. A raised platform for a birdfeeder will give a small bird a higher chance of escaping the hawk.
  4. Providing nearby refuge. I suggest you plant shrubby berry bushes near the bird feeder for birds to hide within seconds. 

4. Ensuring the Hawk’s Safety

Despite being a predator, a hawk is still a bird. 

And so, you must only make him leave and never try to hurt him.

You may do so by:

  1. Painting over window mirrors or using shades to avoid confusing the hawk.
  2. Not throwing anything at the hawk to make it leave.
  3. Not using rodenticides or chemical pesticides against the hawk. 
  4. Calling in a professional, if you deem the hawk is ill or injured.

Now, most hawks only lurk on human properties during the day and leave by the night.

Curious to know what they do at night?

I’ll tell you..

What Do Hawks Do At Night?

Well, they find a nice high perch or return to their nests, to sleep. 

Even though a hawk eye is about eight times more powerful than a human one.

Still, hawks cannot see during the night.

Furthermore, hawks are dependent on their visual abilities to hunt.

Which means a hawk cannot hunt in the dark.

However, they tend to hunt in the dawn or late evening when the light is quite dim.

This is probably why people mistakenly assume that hawks stay awake the whole night.

That said, hawks are quite the light sleepers and may wake up with the slightest of commotion.

Wrapping Up

Hawks tend to reside in the same areas, throughout their life.

They stay hidden in some cover and swoop down suddenly to hunt.

If a hawk is hanging at your place, then it may be trying to eat your pets or songbirds.

You must remove the source of a hawk’s attention, which will make him leave.

Hawks don’t hunt at night, rather they just sleep.

Related articles

Why do little birds follow hawks?

Do hawks eat rattlesnakes?

Can a hawk pick up a dog?

Do hawks attack humans?

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