Red-Tailed Hawk

 Range: Northern Canada through to Panama, including much of the Caribbean.

Habitat: The Red-tail is a bird of open country, such as grasslands and desert. They will also use farmland, and often perch on fence posts and telephone poles.

Diet: Mostly mammals, ranging in size from voles to jackrabbits. Birds up to pheasants in size are taken. Also snakes, amphibians, insects, and carrion.

Lifespan: Up to 21 years in the wild. 18-25 years in captivity. The oldest Red-tailed Hawk on record lived to be almost 29 years old.



Aerea was hit by a car, and is now blind in her left eye. This affects her depth perception, so she cannot survive on her own in the wild.

Fun Facts

  • Red-tailed Hawks are the second largest Buteo hawk in North America. Only the Ferruginous Hawk is bigger.
  • Pairs of Red-tailed Hawks mate for life.
  • There may be as many as 14 different subspecies of Red-tailed Hawks, which are often variable in plumage, though most have the distinctive red tail and dark belly band. 
  • The dark subspecies “Harlan’s Hawk” of Alaska lacks both the red tail and belly band. Because of this it was formerly considered as separate species.
  • The scream of the Red-tailed Hawk is often used for the call of the Bald Eagle in movies.
  • Red-tailed Hawks can catch rattlesnakes; however they are not immune to the venom.
  • Red-tails are one of the most common and widespread hawks in North America.
  • Because they take such a variety of prey, a pair of Red-tails only needs half a square mile for breeding