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Red-tailed Hawk  (Buteo jamaicensis)

 

 

 

Description

  • White breast, dark brown back, with a rust colored tail
  • Immatures are more streaked and lack the rust colored tails
  • 14 sub-species, each of which is more or less specific to a geographical area, and differs from the others in size, markings etc.

Size

  • Length: 18-25" (46-63 cm)
  • Wingspan: 48" (1.2 m)

Range

  • Plains, farmland, deserts, and open woodland
  • Throughout North America to the northern limit of the tree line in Alaska and Canada, and south as far as the mountains of Panama

Diet

  • Mostly small and medium sized rodents
  • But very opportunistic and can be found feeding on whatever is the most abundant and easiest prey to attain.

Voice

  • High pitched descending scream- "Kee-yrrr Kee-yrrr"
  • Young also beg for food with a - "klee-uk klee-uk klee-uk"

Nesting

  • Stick nest line with bark and green vegetation
  • 15-70 ft. above ground level
  • Lay 2-3 brown spotted eggs
  • Eggs incubate for 28-32 days
  • Fledgelings leave the nest at 45 days after hatching

 


 

   

Ferruginous Hawk  (Buteo regalis)

 

Description

  • Brown above with rusty streaks, white below with rusty streaks

Size

  • Length: 20-26 in. (50-66 cm)
  • Wingspan: 53-60 in. (134-152 cm)
  • Weight: 2.2-4.5 lbs (980-2030 g)

Range

  • North American plains
  • Plains and dry mesas
  • Great Basin East to Western Great Plains, north to Canadian Praries, south to Arizona and New Mexico
  • In winter it moves further south into the south western United States and northern Mexico
  • Those further north tend to move south during the first half of October, returning in late March or early April
  • When migrating the birds rarely flock, but remain in pairs or small groups

Diet

  • Rabbits, hares and other small mamals
  • Locusts or Jerusalem crickets when swarming
  • Occasionally small snakes

Voice

  • Main call is described as a loud "kree-a"
  • Also makes a harsh cry rather like one of the notes of a herring gull's call

Nesting

  • Mass of sticks, twigs, bones lined with cow or horse feces in a tree or on a cliff
  • Uses the highest available, but frequently almost at ground level
  • Same nest is used, and added to, year on year and can grow to the size of a Golden Eagle's nest, 12 to 15 feet (360 to 460 cms) in height
  • Lay 2-6 white or bluish eggs heavily spotted brown
  • Eggs incubate for 28 days and are tended by both parents
  • Fledgelings leave the nest at 44-48 days after hatching