Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are my default hawks around here; that is, if I can't immediately identify a given hawk, I go into 'it must be a Red-tailed' mode. 

Edward Brinkley, in his Field Guide to Birds of North America, says:

Red-tailed Hawk is the most variable and widespread North American raptor.  There are some 7 subspecies north of Mexico that range in body plumage from almost snow white to quite blackish below; the many morphs in between vary mostly in plumage patterns.  The reddish tail and husky, full-winged shape of adults are recognizable throughout Red-tailed's range (although the subspecies harlani is divergent in both structure and plumage).  All subspecies hunt mostly rodents from perches or in the air.  Red-tailed Hawk is an abundant species, found in virtually every habitat, from tundra to forest, desert to marsh.

This is a young 'Eastern' Red-tailed Hawk  (Buteo jamaicensis borealis) I found yesterday.


  1. Your photo skills amaze me and thanks for the Red-tail reference info.

  2. Oh dear. Thanks for the encouragement, Brian; my photo skills are very lame,(granted I get lucky with some shots)especially when I have friends who take such amazingly good and professional photos! Visit Saskatchewan Birds, Nature and Scenery in my Blog List. That's Nick Saunder's site. Anyway, I'm borrowing my cousin's mega cameras for a few days to see if I can learn a few things. One can always hope.

    Glad you enjoy the info links; you might be the only reader who clicks on them.