Red-tailed Hawk

Scientific Name: Buleo jamaicensis

Diet: The Red-Tailed Hawk eats mostly small rodents including mice, rats, and voles. They also eat birds such as blackbirds, bobwhite, pheasants, and starlings, and reptiles, rabbits, squirrels, and occasionally fish and big insects are taken as prey.

Habitat: Red-Tailed Hawks live in a wide range of habitats, but they usually live in open areas. They can be found in parks, grasslands, urban areas, woodlands, and almost any other habitat as well.

Sound: Red-Tailed Hawks make a harsh scream sounding like creeeeer and trailing off at the end.

Nesting: Red-Tailed Hawks place their nests on cliffs, trees, cactus, and man-made buildings. They are made of sticks and lined with bark, plant material, and twigs. The nest takes 4 to 7 days to build and when it is done it is about 6 1/2 feet tall and about 3 feet across.  Red-Tailed Hawk mates stay together until one of them dies, and they reuse the same nest every year. They lay 1 to 5 eggs and incubate them for 28 to 32 days.

Behavior: The Red-Tailed Hawk is often seen soaring over open areas riding the thermals. Red-Tailed Hawks sit on a perch scanning the area for prey until they spot some.Then they swoop down and grab the prey.

Description/field marks: Red-Tailed Hawks are about 18 to 22 inches long, and they have wingspans of about 45 to 52 inches. They have rufous tails, and mottled brown and rufous wings, backs, and heads. Their undersides are mostly whitish beige with a line of mottled brown at the belly.

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