Buteos, Accipiters, Falcons
The word, hawk, is generally applied to almost any diurnal raptor except eagles (owls are nocturnal).
Buteos are large and have broad wings and tails. The buteo seeks its prey, any small ground dweller, while either soaring or perched in a tree near a clearing. Locally seen buteos are the Red–tailed Hawk, and the Rough-legged Hawk.
Accipiters have short, rounded wings which enable them to manoeuvre in forests where other birds are their primary prey. Locally seen accipiters are the Sharp–shinned Hawk, and the Cooper’s Hawk.
Falcons are small and have long, narrow and pointed wings which are optimized for speed in the open air and are more likely to be found near clearings where their speed enables them to capture other birds on the wing. Locally seen falcons are the Merlin and the Kestrel.
Hawks are divided into groups (genera) depending upon shared characteristics. Quite common around the Lake in the summer, the osprey is the only member of its group. Three other groups of interest here are the buteos, accipiters, and falcons.
Ospreys aside, local hawks are not seen as often as are eagles. As yet, I have only managed to photograph two species: the Red–tailed Hawk and the Merlin.
Albeit not frequently encountered, the Red–tailed is the largest and perhaps the most readily seen hawk around the Lake. Its remarkably diverse plumage almost guarantees that when seen in nature, it will not appear quite as represented in bird books.
Information from Wikipedia: Red-tailed Hawk, Merlin.