Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis

Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensisThe most widely distributed large hawk in North America, the Red-tailed is able to tolerate a broad range of habitats. There are several races of this species; the one most commonly encountered in the West is a bird of open country; it tends to have a darker head and more heavily marked underparts than eastern Red-tails.

Identification 19-25". Large; typical bird dark brown above, usually light below with dark band on belly. Tail rufous with dark band and paler tip. Geographical variations include a dark brown color phase and a pale phase with a white tail. Immature has grayish tail with narrow bands.

Voice A loud, harsh, descending tseer, usually given when disturbed.

Habitat Grasslands, pastures, open woods, and farmlands; also in plains, tundra, and deserts with scattered trees.

Range Breeds throughout most of North America; winters from Canadian border south.

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