Species: Red-tailed Hawk
Scientific Name: Buteo Jamaicensis
Size: Body length of 17 -22 inches, a wingspan of 3½ - 4½ feet, weighs 1½ - 3¼ pounds

I was hit by a car when I was about 4 months old in June of 2007. Luckily for me, a good Samaritan picked me up when they saw me on the side of the road and brought me into Fresno Wildlife. My wing is permanently injured so I cannot fly which means I cannot be released into the wild!

Due to my curious and confident nature, I am the raptor species most commonly used by apprentice falconers. The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the most widely distributed hawks in North America. There are 14 subspecies of this hawk ranging in color from the pale Krider's morph to the red rufous morph to the dark Harlan's morph. The tail of the Red-tailed Hawk does not turn “red” until its feathers molt in its 2nd summer.

Red-tailed Hawks are found in North America and scattered through Central America and the islands of the West Indies. They inhabit rural areas, mountain forests, tropical rainforests, deserts or open fields interspersed with woods or bluffs. Northern populations migrate south during the winter.

Small to medium-sized mammals are the preferred food of this species, especially mice, ground squirrels, and jackrabbits. They will also take birds like pigeons and doves feeding on the ground and small to medium reptiles. Red-tailed Hawks hunt by swooping down from a high point, whether a high perch or soaring in circles while scanning the ground. They swoop down to seize their prey with their feet, pursuing and grabbing up prey during low glides over the ground. They will also take food caught by other species, often called pirating.

Most medium to large birds of prey have multi-year pair bonds with their mates and will use the same hunting and nesting territory year after year if it is successful. These birds may have multiple nests in their territory and will rotate the use from one nest to the next year to year. This hawk’s large stick nest may be found in tall trees, on cliffs, in cactus, or on man-made structures. The female hawk lays 1 - 5 eggs that are incubated for 28 - 35 days. The young hawks fledge about 42 days later and can reproduce at 2 years of age.


P.O. Box 2605
Clovis, CA 93613