Photo by Melody

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Order: Accipitriformes
Family: Accipitridae
Genus: Buteo
Species: jamaicensis


6 positives
No neutrals
No negatives


This bird has been reportedly found in the following regions:

Fairhope, Alabama
Hereford, Arizona
Marina, California
Menifee, California
Rancho Mirage, California
San Diego, California (2 reports)
Daytona Beach, Florida
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Mims, Florida
Trenton, Florida
Bainbridge, Georgia
Brinson, Georgia
Montpelier, Idaho
Lombard, Illinois
Westchester, Illinois
Coatesville, Indiana
Yale, Iowa
Benton, Kentucky
Cadiz, Kentucky
Ewing, Kentucky
Hebron, Kentucky
Melbourne, Kentucky
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Vacherie, Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
Oakland, Maryland
Wakefield, Massachusetts
Belleville, Michigan
Jackson, Michigan
Paw Paw, Michigan
Le Center, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Golden, Mississippi
Cole Camp, Missouri
Conway, Missouri
Saint Louis, Missouri
Lincoln, Nebraska
Warner, New Hampshire
Clyde, North Carolina
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
Corning, Ohio
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Ravenna, Ohio
Bend, Oregon
Gold Hill, Oregon
Portland, Oregon
Salem, Oregon
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Gardners, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Whitehall, Pennsylvania
Wellford, South Carolina
Austin, Texas
Fort Worth, Texas
Red Oak, Texas
Edinburg, Virginia
Portsmouth, Virginia
Walkerton, Virginia
Stanwood, Washington
Vancouver, Washington
Chilton, Wisconsin

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Thumbnail #1 of Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) by pelletory

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There are a total of 28 photos.
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Member Notes:

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 8, 2009, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN
(Zone 4a) wrote:

Seemly like the population of red tail hawk in the Twin Cities have make a big jump in recent years - now can be seen pretty much all year round - they loves large open spaces and roadside - mainly commonly near intersections with a small patch of wild forest nearby. Often I have seen them perching in trees - usually the most exposed tree, sometimes lightposts and once in a while signs and lower in trees - can be seen by their large size and white breast when driving. In fact for me, driving is the best way to see those raptors. Their huge size (they are the biggest of all the hawks in the region - only eagles, some owls, and vultures are bigger) make them a easy id. Only the migrantary and uncommon red shoulder hawk comes closer to size but like I said they are uncommon to rare in the area.

What they feed on in winter is unknown, but other birds may be a suspect as I have not seen marks of them impacting the snow on the roadside as there are very few footprints humans or animals on roadside snow during winter, mostly around drain pipes (rats, maybe?) and good size wetlands. Voles are active during wintertime and are more common than most people think, usually burrowing under the snow.

I have seen at least one carrying a blackbird being chased by other blackbirds and have seen one land in the center strip, maybe after some rodent?

Roadsides are rodent heaven as there are few other predators around to keep their numbers down because of car death rate.

Positive crengle62 On Feb 9, 2009, crengle62 from Marina, CA
(Zone 10b) wrote:

Ilike them they eat vermin (rats etc) altho them and the crows don't get along lol

Positive MichaelZ On Feb 11, 2009, MichaelZ from Portland, OR
(Zone 8a) wrote:

I have a pair that hunts in my part of the city and they are great to watch. And, it is fun to watch them battle with the crows guarding their own nests. A hawk landed across the street from me one spring day and I swear crows came flying from miles away to deal with the threat. It was a Hitchcockian experience.


Positive natureluvver On Sep 4, 2009, natureluvver from Philadelphia, PA wrote:

Philadelphia was given a real treat this year by having 2 red-tailed hawks building a nest on a window ledge of a Science Museum in the middle of the city. They laid 3 eggs that hatched, and the nestlings successfully fledged in June. The museum set up a video camera aimed at the nest from the time the first egg was laid until the end of June. Anyone watching on their computer literally had a bird's-eye view of everything that goes on in the red-tail's nest by light of day, even the parents bringing "prey" and feeding the nestlings. We even saw the eggs hatching! Hopefully, the 2 parents will come back next year. Absolutely fascinating.

Positive bonehead On Oct 4, 2010, bonehead from Cedarhome, WA
(Zone 8b) wrote:

A common sight for us.

Positive HeidiKHandmade On Mar 10, 2013, HeidiKHandmade from Vancouver, WA wrote:

A common sight by high-traffic areas in trees, on light poles, and even on power lines, looking for lunch. Dramatic looking bird, distinctive with its red tail-feathers. I love to see them flying in pairs.

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