bird hawk n chiefly east of Missip R
Any of various hawks that prey especially on other birds, such as one of the accipiters (Cooper’s hawk n, sharp-shinned hawk n, goshawk n 1) or the pigeon hawk n 1.
1805 Med. Repository 2.122 NY, Hen-hawk, Chicken-hawk, Duck-hawk, Pigeon-hawk, Rat-hawk, Bird-hawk, Pale blue coloured hawk, with tip end of wings black. Fish-hawk, Night-hawk. 1870 Morning Patriot (Harrisburg PA) 28 Apr 1/8, The common bird hawk is by far the swiftest in flight of any that visits the middle States. 1917 (1923) Birds Amer. 2.66, Sharp-shinned Hawk. . . Other Names.—Pigeon Hawk; Sparrow Hawk; Bird Hawk. 1922 Pacific Poultry Breeder 36.196 CA, Out of the four groups . . only one group is decidedly harmful. This group, the bird hawks, consists of three species, all of which may be recognized by their quiet, stealthy, sneaky habits and, in flight, by their short round wings and long tail which give them a decided “aeroplane” outline. 1937 Helena Independent (MT) 12 Dec 18/5, The goshawk, the sharp-shin and Cooper’s hawk comprise the group known as the bird hawks. The goshawk is the largest of the trio. . . Dark bars on the undersides of the wings, and the typical long, bird-hawk tail will separate it from the large hawks. 1954 Sprunt FL Bird Life 103, The Sharp-shin is one of the “bird hawks.” 1966–70 DARE (Qu. Q4, . . Kinds of hawks) 19 Infs, scattered, but chiefly east of Missip R, Bird hawk; UT5, VA46, 75, Bird hawk—a small one; MD32, 42, Bird hawk—small, catches birds; FL51, Chicken hawk—bird hawk . . same hawk; KY31, Bird hawk (a falcon); MD13, Bird hawk—small, catches birds and baby chickens; MD22, Bird hawk—small, eats birds; MD36, Bird hawk—only in marsh, looks like big owl; MD48, Bird hawk—various sizes; MN12, Swallow hawk or bird hawk—will take bird; a smaller hawk; NJ22, Bird hawk (merlin) or pigeon hawk; NJ39, Bird hawk (merlin); NC80, Bird hawk (may be the chicken hawk); VT10, Bird hawk—smaller than chicken hawk. 1984 MJLF 10.146 cWI, Bird hawk. Any of several species of small hawk. 1990 Bedford Gaz. (PA) 4 Oct 6/4, Unusual and welcome is the occasional sighting of another accipiter, the goshawk. It, too, is a “bird hawk” large enough to catch and kill bigger prey than its cousins.