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December Bird of the Month: Red Shouldered Hawk

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Red Shouldered Hawk in Flight

Red Shouldered Hawks are a medium-sized hawk, with rounded wings and medium length tails. They have reddish barring on their breasts, heads, and sometimes the underside of their wings, and dark and white barring on their wings. This makes them one of the more distinct looking species of hawk in our region.

Red Shouldered Hawk Sitting on Tree Branch

These hawks are often seen around forests, perching in trees or on wires. They have a very distinct sound, and Blue Jays will often mimic the sound as an alert call amongst their peers.

Red Shouldered Hawk Up Close

Red Shouldered Hawks nest 35-65 feet off the ground, typically in deciduous trees. Clutches are usually 3-4 eggs, and young leave the nest 5-7 weeks after hatching, but continue to be fed by their parents for an additional 8-10 weeks. Like most raptors, their diets are varied, but primarily include small mammals and songbirds.





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