This series with Dr. Kevin McGowan gets you up-close-and-personal with the hawks, eagles, and falcons of the United States and Canada. You’ll get to know their markings and behaviors so that next time you see a hawk fly by, you’ll be able to confidently add it to your list.

Featuring 34 raptors from across the United States and Canada, this course will help you enjoy the thrill of recognizing everything from hawks to falcons, kites, vultures, and eagles.


Course Format

This 6 session raptor identification series was recorded as live-streamed webinars in 2015. Bird Academy is now offering the video archives of this popular series so that you can jumpstart your raptor identification skills—this time completely at your own pace. Each session contains one hour of online video instruction by Dr. Kevin McGowan, plus a downloadable handout to help you take notes as you watch. Videos are closed captioned and you can come back to them as often as you like.


What You’ll Learn

The Most Important Things

Discover the diversity of raptors and learn how to distinguish among the species using shape and behavior.

Other Important Clues

Explore other clues for raptor identification, including size, color pattern, markings, habitat, and calls.

Introducing the Buteos

Get to know the key characteristics of the different species of Buteos, the broad-winged hawks

Get to know: Red-tailed Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, Swainson’s Hawk, Broad-winged Hawk, Ferruginous Hawk, Harris’s Hawk, Zone-tailed Hawk

Accipiters and Falcons

Explore the field marks of the fast-flying bird-eating raptors, the Accipiters and falcons.

Get to know: Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Northern Goshawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, Peregrine Falcon, Prairie Falcon, Gyrfalcon, Aplomado Falcon

Eagles, vultures, and others

Dive in to the different species of very large raptors, the eagles and vultures, as well as some other species that do not fit an easy classification.

Get to know: Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Osprey, Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, California Condor, Northern Harrier, Crested Caracara

Kites and rarities

Get familiar with the odd but beautiful kites, and a few other hawks with restricted ranges in North America north of Mexico.

Get to know: Mississippi Kite, White-tailed Kite, Swallow-tailed Kite, Snail Kite, Hook-billed Kite, Gray Hawk, White-tailed Hawk, Common Black Hawk, Short-tailed Hawk

“Great organization. Appropriate level of detail/information for an introductory course.”
Series graduate

“Kevin has a voice that is easy to listen to. He adds bits of information from his years of experience that make the whole presentation fascinating.”
Series graduate

“Even though I am an experienced birder I am surprised at how much I learn from these webinars and I look forward to more of them.”
Series graduate

60% off the original series price.


Only $29.99
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Satisfaction Guarantee

Our educators and birding experts take pride in the courses they create. If you're not satisfied with the material for ANY reason, contact us within 30 days of the start of the course or purchase for a full refund.

Meet Your Instructor

Kevin McGowan

Dr. Kevin McGowan, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Dr. Kevin J. McGowan combines deep knowledge about birds with passion for helping others to learn. He is a professional ornithologist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and one of the world’s foremost experts on the behavior of crows. Kevin is also an accomplished birder and World Series of Birding champion. He is the creator of the popular Be a Better Birder series of courses and live webinars and co-author of the Ornithology: Comprehensive Bird Biology online course.


Golden Eagle: Kevin J. McGowan