Red-tailed Hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

Order

FALCONIFORMES

Family

Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4

RTHA

Code 6

BUTJAM

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Red-tailed Hawk is one of three species known in North America as a “chickenhawk”. Its breeding grounds range throughout North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to Panama and the West Indies. This species inhabits a wide range of environments such as deserts, grasslands, coniferous and deciduous woodlands, tropical rainforests, farm fields and urban areas. The only place it is not found in North America is unbroken forest areas and the high arctic. This species is very trainable and used commonly by falconers in the United States. The conservation rating for the Red-tailed Hawk is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Red-tailed Hawk: Large, highly variable hawk with brown upperparts, head and throat. The underparts are pale with brown streaks. Wings are pale below with dark bar at leading edge and dark tips. The tail is red-brown with dark terminal band. Legs and feet are yellow. Soars on thermals and updrafts.


Range and Habitat

Red-tailed Hawk: Native only to the Ne-arctic region. They are found throughout the United States and Canada, and into Mexico and Central America. Many birds are year round occupants although the birds of the far north migrate south during the fall to escape the harsh winter. Habitats include open country with scattered, elevated perches, woodlands, mountains, agricultural fields and pastures.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"keeer-r-r"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The raspy cry of the Red-tailed Hawk is typically used in movies to represent any eagle or hawk anywhere in the world.
  • Males and females perform a courtship ritual in which they dive and roll in the sky. They will even lock talons and fall together a distance before splitting apart.
  • They can spot a mouse from a height of 100 feet.
  • A group of hawks has many collective nouns, including a "boil", "knot", "spiraling", "stream", and "tower" of hawks.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Red-tailed Hawk

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Terminal bandX
Refers to the contrasting stripe at the tip of the tail.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X