Species composition and diversity of hawk populations were analyzed for northeastern Arkansas by the use of roadside censuses conducted in September through April from 1974- 1977. Data from 10 years of Jonesboro Christmas Bird Counts were also analyzed. During the roadside survey 20,174 miles were driven and 1819 raptors were counted. Ten species were observed with the Red-tailed Hawk being most abundant followed by the Marsh Hawk and the American Kestrel. Eight species were recorded from the 10 years of Christmas Bird Counts. Annual breeding bird surveys and spot records turned up three additional species making a total of 14 species in 15 years of study. Although hawk populations fluctuate from year to year, the data do not reveal any downward trend in numbers in northeastern Arkansas. Large concentrations of hawks do not appear in this region of the state until after mid-September. Populations reach a peak in December after which they decline in January. A second peak is reached in February followed by a gradual decline such that in April the American Kestrel is the only species consistently seen from the roadside. After April only a few hawks remain to nest. Both Krider's and melanistic Red-tails occur here but from a total of 864 Red-tailed Hawks observed only 26 Krider's and 31 melanistic or Buteo iamaicensis harlanii were recorded.
Hanebrink, Earl L.; Sutton, Keith B.; and Posey, Alan F.
"Species Composition and Diversity of Hawk Populations in Northeastern Arkansas,"
Journal of the Arkansas Academy of Science: Vol. 32
, Article 18.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uark.edu/jaas/vol32/iss1/18