What Hawks can you see in Austria? (3 Species with Pictures & Sounds)

What Hawks can you see in Austria? There are 3 different species of Hawks that you might encounter in Austria. Read this article to see pictures, hear their sound and get great information about where and when you can spot all Hawks in Austria.

Nestled in the heart of Europe, Austria is renowned for its alpine landscapes, baroque architecture, and classical music heritage. But if you’re attuned to the skies, Austria offers yet another symphony—a ballet of hawks that whirl and twirl above its picturesque meadows and snow-capped peaks. Let’s ascend alongside these winged wonders and discover the hawks that call Austria their home.

Let’s jump into the article.

1. Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus):

Dancing above the majestic Austrian Alps and swooping down over quaint little towns, the Eurasian Sparrowhawk is a frequent flier in Austria’s expansive skies. Clad in blue-grey feathers for the males and a rustic brown for the females, these agile birds are a spectacle against the backdrop of Austria’s verdant forests and pristine lakes.

Known for their impressive aerial acrobatics, Sparrowhawks maneuver effortlessly through dense woodlands, their eyes always peeled for smaller birds, their primary prey. The silent woods of Styria or the banks of the Danube River are often serenaded by their sharp calls, an echo that seamlessly blends with the murmur of Austria’s gentle breezes and flowing streams.

Witnessing the Eurasian Sparrowhawk amidst Austria’s landscapes is like watching a maestro conduct an orchestra—every move is precise, every note pure perfection.

2. Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis)

If Austria’s landscapes are its timeless symphonies, the Northern Goshawk plays the lead in this orchestral wonder, a maestro that sets the rhythm of Austria’s forested terrains. Beyond the romantic allure of Vienna and the charming melodies that waft from Salzburg, the Northern Goshawk paints a picture of Austria’s wild heart.

With their striking bluish-grey plumage in males and a rich brown in females, these birds of prey carry the mysteries of the deep Austrian forests on their wings. Their fiery red eyes, indicative of mature individuals, capture the spirit of Austria’s wilderness — intense, passionate, and ever-watchful.

Wander into the thick coniferous expanses of the Austrian Alps or the serene woods of Lower Austria, and you might be treated to the Goshawk’s distinct calls, a series of sharp, piercing notes, often hinting at their territorial nature or a nearby prey. The forests are their kingdom, where they exhibit their unmatched prowess, be it a sudden dive to snag an unsuspecting squirrel or a high-speed chase after a bird.

Austria’s folklore often intertwines with tales of this majestic raptor. As the country’s sonatas and waltzes find a global audience, the stories of the Goshawk, too, deserve a listening ear. The tales speak of its elegance, its tenacity, and its role as a guardian of Austria’s vast wilderness.

So, while you immerse yourself in Austria’s world-famous operas, delicious strudels, and snowy escapades, spare a moment for the Northern Goshawk. A glimpse of this magnificent bird, set against Austria’s panoramic vistas, is a performance that remains etched in memory, long after the curtains fall.

3. Rough-legged Hawk (Buteo lagopus)

High above the Alpine meadows, beyond the reach of Austria’s enchanting melodies and iconic chalets, the Rough-legged Hawk carves out its niche in the sky, casting its shadow on the snowy landscapes below.

Deriving its name from its feathered legs that stretch all the way to the toes – an adaptation to the frigid habitats it frequents – the Rough-legged Hawk is a mesmerizing sight against Austria’s famed peaks and valleys. Its intricately patterned plumage, a tapestry of mottled browns, dark wrist patches on the wings, and a contrasting pale underside, mirrors the diverse terrains of Austria, from dense forests to rugged mountains.

Winter brings with it a special treat for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts trekking through the Austrian countryside. As temperatures plummet, the Rough-legged Hawk descends from its Arctic breeding grounds, seeking refuge in Austria’s open terrains and meadows. Here, it showcases its impeccable hunting strategy, hovering over fields in search of unsuspecting voles and other small mammals, its primary prey.

Areas like the Danube Valley or the open plains stretching beyond Vienna often play host to this Arctic visitor, making the chilly Austrian winters a tad warmer for those lucky enough to spot this avian wonder.

So, as you sip on a warm cup of Austrian coffee or let the notes of a Strauss waltz envelop you, let the allure of the Rough-legged Hawk beckon. It’s a gentle reminder that even in the midst of Austria’s cultured elegance, nature weaves its raw, untamed magic, offering moments of sheer wonder and awe.