Quiz about Falcons and Hawks of the USA
Quiz about Falcons and Hawks of the USA

Falcons and Hawks of the USA Trivia Quiz


This quiz will test your knowledge on falcons and hawks which can be found in the USA.
This is a renovated/adopted version of an old quiz by author FDR

A multiple-choice quiz by rossian. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
rossian
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
30,198
Updated
Jun 16 22
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
233
Last 3 plays: Guest 136 (6/10), Guest 174 (9/10), Guest 104 (4/10).
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. Which falcon has adapted to city life so well that it has made its nests on skyscrapers? Hint

Gyrfalcon
Prairie
Peregrine
Aplomado

2. Which of these is a member of the hawk family known for a diet primarily of fish? Hint

Osprey
Pelican
Sharp-shinned hawk
Snowy egret

3. In which state of the USA are you most likely to see a gyrfalcon? Hint

Alaska
Nebraska
Hawaii
California

4. Falco columbarius is the scientific name for which of these birds of prey? Hint

Buzzard
Turkey vulture
Kestrel
Merlin

5. Which of these is a common nickname for Cooper's hawk, and other members of the hawk family? Hint

Chicken hawk
Goose hawk
Turkey hawk
Duck hawk

6. The crested caracara is found in the southern areas of the USA. Which of these does it primarily feed upon?

Carrion
Seeds

7. Generally known just at the goshawk in the United States, which adjective should be used to correctly identify the species that is resident there? Hint

Little
Wandering
Red
Northern

8. What is the smallest and most common falcon found in the USA in the first quarter of the twenty-first century? Hint

American kestrel
Red-footed falcon
Hobby
Harrier

9. Falco mexicanus is better known by which name, reflecting its habitat? Hint

Mountain falcon
Coastal falcon
Woodland falcon
Prairie falcon

10. Swainson's hawk is a migratory bird, with most of them leaving the USA to spend the winter months primarily in which country? Hint

Cuba
Argentina
Jamaica
Canada


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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which falcon has adapted to city life so well that it has made its nests on skyscrapers?

Answer: Peregrine

Falco peregrinus is one of the most widespread of the falcons, found in most countries of the world apart from New Zealand. It also avoids tropical rainforests, high mountains and the polar regions, although even the Arctic tundra has populations. As well as being known as the fastest bird of prey, when diving to catch prey (known as a stoop), it is also adaptable. Cities can provide easy pickings for food as many of them have large flocks of pigeons, which is handy when you have chicks to feed.
2. Which of these is a member of the hawk family known for a diet primarily of fish?

Answer: Osprey

Ospreys are another bird found in many parts of the world, with Antarctica being the only continent without a population. They do not breed in South America, but spend winters there for the warmer weather. With common names such as fish hawk and sea hawk, the only requirement for the osprey is proximity to water and a ready supply of fish. Their keen eyesight means they can spot their prey moving through the water before diving and grabbing the victim with their feet. Ospreys can even judge the distortion caused by water and make suitable adjustments, and become completely submerged before managing to take flight again with the fish firmly grasped.

Neither the pelican nor the egret belongs to the hawk family.
3. In which state of the USA are you most likely to see a gyrfalcon?

Answer: Alaska

The gyrfalcon, Falco rusticolus, resides in the Arctic tundra regions, so Alaska is your best bet in America. Even Europeans would need to search the colder regions such as Iceland and Greenland, with the tundra and taiga regions providing their usual habitat.

The gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcon species and has colouration varying from nearly all white to darker shades of brown. It feeds primarily on other birds with ptarmigan, which live in the same regions, being a favourite. Another falcon known for its speed, it can intercept prey on the wing.
4. Falco columbarius is the scientific name for which of these birds of prey?

Answer: Merlin

As the Latin name implies, the merlin was originally known as the pigeon hawk. In the USA, merlins spend the summer months in the northern states, where they also breed, before migrating further south as the weather cools. Some have adapted to city life where sparrows provide easy prey.

Other birds are also on the merlin menu along with insects, bats and rodents. They are known for taking over existing nests, such as those of magpies, in which to lay their eggs rather than building their own.
5. Which of these is a common nickname for Cooper's hawk, and other members of the hawk family?

Answer: Chicken hawk

The name arose from the belief that three species of hawk, Cooper's, the red-shinned and red-tailed, were regular predators of farmyard chickens. In reality, none of the birds preyed on domestic fowl regularly, with the first two mainly targeting smaller birds and the red-tailed hawk preferring rodents as its primary diet.

Cooper's hawk was named in honour of William Cooper, an American naturalist of the eighteenth century. It is a North American native with a range from Mexico to southern areas of Canada, although it breeds almost exclusively in the USA. It has several other nicknames, including the quail hawk, the swift hawk and big blue darter - the latter two referring to its agility in capturing prey. Cooper's hawks migrate less dramatically than many of the other birds in the quiz, but they do tend to move further south for the winter.
6. The crested caracara is found in the southern areas of the USA. Which of these does it primarily feed upon?

Answer: Carrion

The crested caracara is a type of falcon named for the dark feathers on its head which are a contrast to the white feathers around the neck. It has yellowish orange legs and a dark body. It is a bird primarily of South and Central America, but is regularly seen in the southern states of the USA, such as Florida and California. Sightings have been reported as far north as Michigan and even into Canada. It is sometimes known as the Mexican eagle or carrion hawk.

The bird is a scavenger and regularly joins vultures to feed on carrion. According to the Encylopaedia Brtannica, they are aggressive enough to deprive vultures of their food.
7. Generally known just at the goshawk in the United States, which adjective should be used to correctly identify the species that is resident there?

Answer: Northern

Using just the name goshawk is commonplace even among experts as it is the only goshawk found in many of the places it inhabits. It is found in most parts of the USA, although it favours the western states, and across most of Europe into Asia. The exceptions are western regions of Europe - Ireland and Iceland have none while Britain, Spain and France have only a few.

Goshawks like to live in wooded areas and hunt for birds and mammals in areas close to trees. Like most other raptors, they eat mainly smaller birds and mammals. Corvids, particularly jays, are a primary source of food in North America, with rock pigeons on the European menu. Squirrels, who often share the same habitat, are also a regular food supply - goshawks are more adept than other hawks at capturing the fast moving squirrels.
8. What is the smallest and most common falcon found in the USA in the first quarter of the twenty-first century?

Answer: American kestrel

The American kestrel is found all over the USA, most of Canada and South America, apart from the Amazon rainforest - it prefers open spaces. Despite some reports of falling numbers, other reports say that numbers are reasonably stable. Northern populations tend to travel south for the winter as snow makes it more difficult for the birds to find food.

Their main diet consists of insects, lizards, small rodents and, in common with other raptors, other birds. It is commonly known as a sparrow hawk in the USA, despite being a member of the falcon family.
9. Falco mexicanus is better known by which name, reflecting its habitat?

Answer: Prairie falcon

The prairie falcon is native to North America and can be seen in the western areas of the USA, the southwestern parts of Canada and the north west of Mexico. It has adapted to lower levels of water and prey than other falcons, and is lighter, for its size, than the similar peregrine falcon. It is probable that the peregrine and prairie falcons have common ancestry.

Because they inhabit open spaces, where prey isn't always plentiful, the prairie falcon is described as 'aggressive' and 'opportunistic'. It takes small mammals from the ground and can intercept birds which are flying. While it may migrate a short distance, often in search of food, the prairie falcon generally lives year round in the same area.
10. Swainson's hawk is a migratory bird, with most of them leaving the USA to spend the winter months primarily in which country?

Answer: Argentina

The name comes from a British natural historian called William Swainson, who spent much of his time in Brazil, Australia and New Zealand in the early to mid nineteenth century. He was honoured by fellow naturalists with a sparrow, toucan and warbler among the other birds which have Swainson species.

Swainson's hawk is found in most states of the USA and in parts of Canada, during the spring and summer and the birds breed there. In the autumn, though, nearly all of them head south to South America, mostly to Argentina with some settling in Uruguay. The migration can take over two months and cover more than 7,000 miles (over 11,000 km), with the birds using thermals to allow them to glide en route. Swainson's hawks feed primarily on larger insects and are particularly fond of grasshoppers, giving them the nicknames 'grasshopper hawk' or 'locust hawk'.
Source: Author rossian

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