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Red-shouldered Hawk

Red-shouldered Hawk
Scientific Classification
Order: Falconiformes
Binomial name
Buteo lineatus

The Red-shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus, is a medium-sized hawk.

Adults have a brown head, a reddish breast and a pale belly with reddish bars. They have a long dark tail with narrow white bars. The red "shoulder" is visible when the bird is perched. Their upperparts are dark with pale spots; they have long yellow legs. Western birds may appear more red; Florida birds are generally paler.

Their breeding habitat is deciduous and mixed wooded areas near water in eastern North America and along the coast of California and northern Mexico. They build a stick nest in a major fork of a large tree.

These birds are permanent residents throughout most of their range; northern birds migrate to more southern parts of their range.

These birds wait on a perch in a forested area and swoop down on prey, also sometimes flying low through clearings to surprise prey. They mainly eat small mammals, amphibians, reptiles, small birds and large insects.