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RED-TAILED HAWK

Scientific Name: Buteo jamaicensis
Order
Falconiformes (diurnal birds of prey)

Family
Accipitridae (hawks, eagles, vultures)

Habitat & Range
Red-tailed hawks can be found throughout the United States, Southern Canada and Central America. Birds in the northernmost latitudes may migrate south for the winter. The red-tailed hawk lives in coniferous and deciduous forests as well as tropical forests. They also inhabit open areas such as swamps, deserts, tundra, plains and agricultural fields.

FIND ME AT EPZ
Name: HUNTER (male)
Location: Across from duck pond
Born: 2004
Arrived at EPZ: 07/06/2005
 
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Identification
Red-tailed hawks measure between 18 and 25 inches in length, and possess wingspans of up to 4 feet. They can weigh as much as 3 pounds. The birds are dark brown with occasional shades of gray on the back. The belly is often cream-colored scattered with dark spotting. The tail is a rusty red color, hence the name.

Diet
Red-tailed hawks hunt small rodents and reptiles. They will sometimes prey on fish. They use their powerful sharp talons to grip and kill their prey.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Breeding occurs between late March and early May. Courtship often consists of extravagant aerial displays performed between the male and female. Mated pairs will claim territories of up to 2 square miles. The male will patrol the territory while the female is will remain behind and aggressively defend the nest area. Mated pairs will remain monogamous for life. Red-tailed hawks have life spans of up to 20 years.
 
 
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