Description - Red Tailed Hawk
A large bird; the red-tailed hawk measures 50 to 60 centimetres in length with a wing span of 1.5 meters, with the female being up to a third larger than the male. The plumage of these birds varies depending on the region in which it resides; however, typically, the adult bird is a dark brown above, white breast, and a band across the belly with a brick red tail on the upper side.
Immature red-tails are similar in appearance, except the tail is brown and banded instead of reddish.
Habitat of the Red-Tailed Hawk :
One of the most commonly seen; the red-tailed hawks can be found all across North America. Preferring a variety of open habitats, this bird can be seen holding still into the wind while hunting its prey. The northern populations of the red-tailed hawk (Alaska, Canada, Northern United States) migrate south in winter.
Mating Habits of the Red-Tailed Hawk:
Beginning in late winter or early spring the mating and breeding habits of these birds include aerial displays meant to advertise their readiness for breeding, generally monogamous, these birds’ pair for life, seeking a new mate only if the original partner is lost.
Nesting Habits of the Red-Tailed Hawk :
The male and female participate in the building of the nest which is a platform constructed of sticks and twigs, lined with bark and greenery. The nest is located in a tree, 10 to 40 meters above ground. The female lays 1 to 5 bluish white eggs with dark marks. The eggs are incubated by both male and female for 28 to 35 days. The young will leave the nest in 44 to 46 days after hatching. Each pair raises only one brood a season and they may re-nest if the first nesting attempt is unsuccessful.
Feeding Habits of the Red-Tailed Hawk:
Highly valued by farmers, the red-tailed hawks may perch, hover, or hold still into the wind when hunting for mice, birds, large insects, reptiles and other mammals.
Lifespan of the Red-Tailed Hawk:
The average lifespan in the wild ranges from 13 to 20 years.