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Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - Eating Gopher Snake Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - With Gopher Snake Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Mobbed by Kestrel Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Sitting Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Class: Aves
Family: Acciptridae
Common Name: Red-tailed Hawk
Genus: Buteo
Species Name: jamaicensis

About The Red-tailed Hawk

Adult red-tailed hawks make what is called a horse scream, "kee-eeee-arrr." It is often described as sounding like a steam whistle. The length and pitch of this call varies with the age, gender, and geographic region of the individual red-tailed hawk.

Young red-tailed hawks communicate with their parents by making soft, low "peep"-ing sounds. As they get older, they sounds they make deepen in tone, and are usually sounds of hunger.

Red-tailed hawks also communicate through body language. In an aggressive posture, the body and head of the  red-tailed hawk are held upright and its feathers are standing up. In submission, the hawk's head is lower to the ground and the feathers are smooth. Red-tailed hawks also display many aerial behaviors. In the talon-drop, during courtship, they swoop down trying to touch one another with their talons. Undulating-flight is an up and down movement that is mainly used in territorial display. Finally, in the dive-display the bird performs a steep dive. This is also a territorial display.

Red-tailed hawks have extraordinarily keen vision, which allows them to detect prey movements at great distances.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Rights Holder: The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors
Bibliographic Citation: Arnold, D. 2002. "Buteo jamaicensis" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 27, 2013 at Citation Link

Trips Where Observed

Alaska 2010
Around The World in 66 Days
Dominican Republic
Mexico to Panama
Mexico, Baja California Sur
Moving the Car
Puerto Rico
San Francisco 2007
Southeast Arizona

Member Lifelists

My Yard
New Jersey
North America
San Francisco
United States

Sites Where Observed

Near the airport.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Mobbed by Kestrel
Getting mobbed by a kestrel.
Near rainbow grocery.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Seen on the side of the road very near Nelson Lake in 8 degrees Fahrenheit temperature.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - Eating Gopher SnakeRed-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) - With Gopher Snake
Was first seen being mobbed by ravens. Then, it landed in a tree where it was mobbed by an American Kestrel. Finally, it caught and ate a golpher snake.


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