North America, Central America
Forests, prairies, deserts, mountains. Wooded area is required for hunting.
Wild: Small mammals, fish, insects, other birds
Zoo: Meat strips (beef), rabbit, chicken, fish, vitamycin
Incubation: 28 to 32 days
Clutch: 2 to 5 eggs
10 to 12 years
Size and weight 19 - 25 in.; 2-3.5 lbs. (wingspan 46-58 in.). The red-tailed hawk is one of the most common raptors of North America. It shares a rating with the ferruginous hawk as the largest North American Buteo. It can be white, chocolate brown, or black, with brown eyes, and white below with brown streaks on its lower neck and a broad band of dark streaking across its white belly. And, of course, its tail is brick-red.
Did You Know?
Other names for this bird are: Red Hawk; Mouse Hawk: Chicken Hawk; Hen Hawk; Buzzard Hawk.
The red-tailed hawk has been a declining species due to man's increasing population and subsequent destruction of the bird's habitat, by sports hunters, and by the effects of pesticides in hawk's prey.
The Genus name, Buteo, is from the Latin buteo, a kind of falcon or hawk. The species name, jamaicensis, is Latin, meaning ‘belonging to Jamaica’, although the bird ranges from Alaska to Panama and the West Indies.
Where in the Zoo?
I can be found in the Conservation Education Programs at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.