Range. - Central and western North America, from the Mississippi Valley and Hudson Bay, to the Pacific coast, breeding throughout its range.
In the greater part of its range, this is the most abundant of the Hawk family. Its plumage is extremely variable, showing all the intergradations from a uniform sooty blackish to the typical adult plumage of a grayish above, and a white below, with a large breast patch of rich chestnut. Their nesting habits are as variable as their plumage. In some localities, they nest exclusively in trees, in others indifferently upon the ground or rocky ledges. The nest is the usual Hawk structure of sticks; the eggs are white, variously splashed and spotted with reddish brown and umber. Size 2.20 x 1.70. Data. - Stark Co., N. D., May 21, 1897. Nest of sticks, lined with weeds in an ash tree. Collector, Roy Dodd.