Types of Birds
Types of Hawks
Types of Owls
Equally at home in an urban environment and a rural environment, Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) eye almost every square mile of North American soil and skies.
Most people associate hawks with migratory behavior. While true, the year round living preferences of many Red-tailed Hawks makes it possible for birders to spot them any time of the year.
The migratory population, typically the individuals that breed in the far north, get spotted and counted as they make their way south to Mexico along a fairly well established set of migration corridors.
A medium sized raptor, with females slightly larger than males, red-tailed hawks tend to focus on small mammals such as rodents as in their dietary preferences. Reports of their consuming other birds exist, however its minimal compared to other bird consuming hawk species such as the Cooper's hawk.
Adult red tail feathers explain the common name. The top picture shows a juvenile red-tailed hawk with the brown barred tail feathers which will turn red sometime during their second year.
The second picture highlights the characteristic red tail feathers as well as providing a snap shot of typical red-tailed hawk behavior.
In rural areas they tend to perch on telephone lines and wires, with their eyes peels on the ground waiting for movement indicating the position of their next prey target.
© 2007-2011 Patricia A. Michaels