Red-shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus




Kites, Eagles and Hawks (Accipitridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

White to blue, nest stained and marked with brown

Number of Eggs:

2 - 6

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

10 - 200 feet above ground.

Nest Material:

Sticks, twigs, inner bark strips, dry leaves and moss.


Some migrate



Red-shouldered Hawk: Large hawk with brown upperparts and head. Underparts are white with rust-red barring. Wings are finely barred above with red-brown shoulders and pale below with red-brown wash and dark tips. Tail is dark with thick white bands. Sexes are similar. Juvenile has dark-streaked white underparts.

Range and Habitat

Red-shouldered Hawk: Resident in the eastern woodlands from southern Michigan south to the Gulf of Mexico and west of the Rocky Mountains from Oregon south to Baja California. Breeds in the northern part of range from Ontario and New England south and migrates into Mexico. Prefers mixed woodlands near water.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-shouldered Hawk: Two to six brown marked, white to blue eggs are laid in a large stick nest lined with finer materials and built in a tree. Eggs are incubated for 28 days by both sexes.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-shouldered Hawk: Diet of consists of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and large insects. Hunts while perched or soaring.


Red-shouldered Hawk: Screams a repeated "kee-yer" during courtship, audible for miles. Also gives a quick series of slurred-together whistles.

Similar Species

Red-shouldered Hawk: Broad-winged Hawk lacks red shoulders, has wider, fewer tails bands, and a crips black border on underwings.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X