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Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by toomuchfun, Oct 12, 2019.
It's a red tailed hawk, the belly band is the key to ID
This is my GF flying our friend's RTH
We had a couple hawks this summer. Funny how we don’t see the chipmunks or squirrels anymore.
Definitely a Red Tail. We have a bunch that hang around here. When the ferals have a new litter they really are abundant
I once saw one grab a small (18”) iguana from the roadside, fly up to about 50’ and drop it. The Red Tail took the lifeless body and flew off to the west. Pretty cool to witness
When we moved here 21 years ago we had so many small animals in our yard it was almost a miniature petting zoo.
The squirrels would gnaw off pine cones and throw them at me, FACT!
Rabbits would burrow in the root trunks of our rose bushes.
Then the raptors came, first a hawk, then an owl.
Now we have an occasional bunny and maybe a dozen blue tail lizards.
They can be quite variable in plumage but the “belly band” of darker feathers is diagnostic.
They don’t actually get their copper red tail until they’re a year old.
The photo with Bones' GF puts the size in perspective for sure. Nice. RTH it is.
I love rapters.Actually saw a Golden Eagle and huge nest down in san diego county a few yrs back.Didn't know the were that far south.
I love to hear them screech.
Yeah, they are pretty big and a little intimidating to be around, even when they are trained and used to being around people. They always look like they are waiting to kill something.
Thanks so much for the identification, comments and great photos. Sorry I should have said I'm in south central PA (York County).
We have way too many wild critters in my neighborhood, I welcome the natural predator and hope I see more. I did hear a screech after mowing.
A couple neighbors and I were just debating the reason for the bird of prey population uptick in my very urban neighborhood - the chipmunk birth explosion this year or rats.
We settled on both.
In North America red tailed hawks - in several different races - are found from pretty much the Arctic tree line on down to Mexico although the more northerly ones do migrate in the spring and fall to warmer climes.
They are part of a family of buteos, or soaring hawks, that feed mostly on rodents. Their Latin species name is Buteo Jamaicensis because they were originally described as a Jamaican species I guess whoever named them didn’t know how widespread they were!
A few of the many wild RTHs that I have encountered ....
Perhaps I'm wrong, but I was of the impression that a Sharp Shinned Hawk is roughly the size of a really big Kestrel, while a Coopers Hawk is roughly the size of a smaller Red Tail. Are ya sure that isn't a Coopers Hawk? He looks pretty big, but he does have that slate gray color on his head...Bones, whatchya say?
Its kinda interesting how often movies and TV shows use the sound of a Red Tail Hawk screeching but then show an Eagle flying around. Eagles are pretty quiet. I've heard Swainson Hawks making a sound pretty similar to the screech of a RTH but never an Eagle.
i have these as well as the grey ones in the area behind my house. very loud screechers!! the crows band together and go after them to chase them away.
I agree with Buckocaster - the tail is actually red, the way the folks who named the species saw them to be.
Further, I think it is a female. They're demonstrably bulkier in shape/size. Yup, the Ladies are the hulks.
Glad to see numbers up in The East. I've made 3 trips to California this calendar year by car, and we're talking west of the Mississippi River and south of the Missouri, and we felt we saw fewer of these than we'd become accustomed to seeing. Lots of other things though, including plenty of Ravens, Magpies, Bald Eagles and Ospreys.
I see Red Tails quite often here in East San Diego County...
Great pics. I never get tired of seeing hawks and other birds of prey.
No, not a Coopers. A female Coopers is about the size of a crow, while even a male red tail is quite a bit larger. And while an immature Coopers has a streaked breast somewhat like a red tail (a mature Coopers has a finely barred breast) the birds have very different builds. Buteos like the red tail are stocky birds with long wings built to soar. Accipiters like Coopers are slimmer, with stubbier wings and longer tails designed to fly through dense woodlands. As they feed mostly on smaller birds they also have much longer legs to pluck prey from the air.
I'm not really sure. According to the Virginia Game and Fisheries website there are only 6 hawk types in Va. Out of those if you see a hawk hanging out by a bird feeder it is normally either a Cooper or Sharp Shinned. This looked more a pic I saw of the Sharp Shinned. But not being a real birder I took a guess