As with many island species, Ridgway’s Hawk is a relatively tame raptor that allows close approach by observers on the ground, although observers who approach a nest are attacked vigorously. Strong flyers, they frequently are seen soaring. Pairs conduct display flights over territories in which adults soar close together, often with the male soaring above the female (Wiley and Wiley 1981).
Territoriality in Ridgway’s Hawk follows an ideal despotic model, in which pairs compete for and maintain exclusive breeding territories that they defend from conspecifics and potential competitors. Annual territory re-occupancy rates are as high as 95% (Woolaver et al. 2014). Mean home range for three pairs was 57.8 ha (Wiley and Wiley 1981).
Ridgway's Hawk pairs are socially monogamous (Woolaver et al. 2014).
Social and interspecific behavior
Aggressive interactions between Ridgway’s Hawk and other bird species are common. Wiley and Wiley (1981) reported interactions with nine bird species in seven orders, ranging in size from Antillean Mango (Anthracothorax dominicus) to Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura).
No documented reports of predation on Ridgway’s Hawk, but aggressive interactions between the hawk and White-necked Crow (Corvus leucognaphalus) occur often (Wiley and Wiley 1981), suggesting that the species are mutual nest predators. Human persecution by farmers who fear the hawk as a predator of poultry is a known cause of concern.