Red Tailed Hawk, Juvenile, Sound, Size, Nest & Know Everything

Do you have sharp eyesight? Well if not then you must read this article. While eating your snacks you can peek through this which says that a Red tailed hawk‘s eyesight is 8 times better than human beings. This is a Red tailed Hawk. This creature’s main habitat is nature’s open land. Yes, they love to live in meadows, roadsides, broken woodland, and of course parks and fields. Buteo Jamaicensis is their scientific name and they produce a loud call that is valuable for Hollywood movie makers. To know how and why go have a look!

Red Tailed Hawk Feather

  • It is widespread and familiar in North America. It is a raptor which means bird of prey.
  • They have a total worldwide population of at least 2,000,000. In Several regions, their local populations of them are expanding.
  • They have incredible eyesight with binocular vision which means they can see prey with both their eyes from far away.
  • Size: Red tailed hawk size is the largest member of the Buteo genus, weighing between 690 and 1,600 g (1.5 to 3.5 lb). Red tailed hawk wingspan of 110–141 cm (3 ft. 7 in – 4 ft. 8 in). The red tailed hawked measures 45–65 cm (18–26 in) in length.
  • Lifespan: The average lifespan of this creature is 10-15 years for those in captivity, 20 years according to research.
  • Color: Mostly they are dark brown above and pale below, with a streaked belly and a dark band between the shoulder and wrist on the wing underside. The tail is normally pale below and cinnamon-red above, but it is brown and banded in immature birds.
  • Behavior: They are very territorial and will stay in the same territory for years. Males and females soar in high circles with loud shouts during courtship.
  • Eggs: The eggs of this creature are pale and lightly splotched with brown. They lay an egg every two or three days. As immediately as the first egg is laid, they begin incubation.
  • Migration: In the winter, the bulk of Birds from Alaska, Canada, and the northern Great Plains migrate south for a few months before coming to North America.

Juvenile Red-Tailed Hawk

  • A juvenile red-tailed hawk is a young or immature red-tailed hawk. They are dull and smaller in size when compared to adults. Mostly juvenile red-tailed hawk breeds are pale colored and they have striped tails instead of solid as adults.


  • All kind of open habitat is occupied by them. Meadows, roadsides, fields and pastures, broken woodland, and tropical rainforest (in Mexico) are all examples of this.
  • The breeding range of the red-tailed hawk extends from middle Alaska to Canada and across the United States, as well as south through Mexico and into Central America.
  • They could adapt to practically every habitat in North and Central America.

Read Also: How Many Different Kinds of Hawk Birds in North America?

 Red Tailed Hawk Nest

  • In this breed, the nest varies. Usually in a tree, up to 120′ above ground; the nest tree is usually taller than the surrounding trees.
  • Also, the nests on cliff edges, giant cactus arms, and man-made structures like towers and buildings.
  • Nest is built with a large bowl of sticks lined with finer materials, frequently with leafy green branches added (made by both sexes).

Red Tailed Hawk Sound

  • You can easily identify a red-tailed hawk by Red tailed hawk sound
  • Adults and juveniles make different noises. Adults make a hoarse patterned red-tailed hawk call i.e. kee-rrrr and their sound lasts for a couple of seconds. But juveniles are more likely to produce high-pitched and very thin sounds. 
  • During mating, they make low-pitched exciting sounds which are generally less loud. 

Food & Diet

  • For the diet usually varies with season and location. But mainly it eats small mammals, Birds, and reptiles.
  • Mammals such as voles, rats, and rabbits are their first choice.
  • It also eats reptiles like snakes.
  • Bats, frogs, insects, and a variety of other species are also eaten by them.

Feeding Behavior

  • It eats a diverse set of prey. It includes small mammals and reptiles.
  • Reptiles, especially snakes, are eaten by red-tails. Rattlesnakes and Bull Snakes are two of their favorite snake species.


  • They are loyal and can mate for the rest of their lives.
  • Each year, the female lays one to five eggs.
  • The eggs are nurtured for four to five weeks by both sexes.
  • The young are fed from the time they hatch until they leave the nest, which is around six weeks later.


  • Their breeding season starts in March and lasts through May. When they are three years old, they are ready to breed. Both the male and female engage in an aerial show during courting.
  • At the time of courting, this creature flies and soars in circles before folding its wings and falling to the trees.


  • Young leave the nest about 6-7 weeks after hatching, but they won’t be able to fly for another 2 weeks or more.
  • Nestlings may stay with their parents for several weeks longer.
  • The baby Red tailed hawk is taken care of by a female hawk.

Read Also: What Makes Osprey Bird Unique, Nest, Speed, Sound, Wingspan


  • Certain hawk species, particularly the Red tailed Hawk, prefer to hunt around night. Unlike them, most of their prey are nocturnal creatures that don’t leave their dens until dark. As a result, hunting around dusk gives the hawk a wider selection of prey.
  • The sharply hooked beak of this creature functions as a knife and fork. It helps them to seize their prey while hunting.
  • It also has a talon that helps them to make a grip on its prey. They use their talons to grip their prey and cut off bits of meat with its beak.

Conservation & Threats

  • This species is common but protected through various organizations and treaties. The migratory Bird Treaty is one of them.
  • Hunting by Great Horned Owls, famine, shooting and trapping, secondary poisoning from pesticides, collisions with automobiles, electrocution, and injuries from their prey are some of the threats to the Red Tailed hawks.

Red Tailed Male vs. Female

You know about Red Tailed hawk Male vs. Female
In This Image, Red Tailed Male vs. Female
  • The female is one-third larger than the male, which is the most noticeable difference between the two. Female Red Tailed Hawk is huge enough to be mistaken for eagles.
  • As per research, the female Red-tailed hawk is about a pound heavier in comparison to males. Full adult females weigh up to 3 pounds 8 ounces and males weigh 2 pounds 8 ounces.
  • Male and female Red-tailed hawks participate in an unusual and risky mating ritual.

Red Tailed Hawk Tattoo

  • People love a red-tailed hawk tattooed on their bodies. Some people tattoo red-tailed hawks on their bodies because they consider it as a sign of spirituality and devotion.  
  • There are numerous available designs for red tailed hawk tattoos like whole sketches, colored hawks, small-sized tattoos around neck hand and waist, shoulder tattoos, and many more. 

Cooper’s Hawk vs Red Tailed Hawk

 Cooper's Hawk vs Red Tailed Hawk
In This Image, Cooper’s Hawk vs Red Tailed Hawk
  • Comparatively Red-tailed hawks have broader, short and round-shaped tails whereas Cooper’s hawks have big, long, and thin tails. 
  • Weight of a Red-tailed hawk measures around 1 kg but it is only 400 to 500 grams in Cooper’s Hawks
  • When you look at the sizes you will see that Cooper’s hawk is small and light while Red tailed hawk is larger and heavier. 
  • There are more chances of seeing a Red tailed hawk because it is common but Cooper’s Hawk’s are less likely to be seen as they are a little rare. 
  • Red tailed hawks fly higher and longer than Cooper’s Hawks.

Red Tailed Hawk Vs Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Tailed Hawk Vs Red Shouldered Hawk
In This Image, Red Tailed Hawk Vs Red Shouldered Hawk
  • Red-shouldered hawks are smaller than Red tailed hawks.
  • Red-tailed hawks have broader wings than Red shouldered hawks. 
  • Red-shouldered hawks prefer their habitat near water bodies while Red tailed hawks live in deep forests. 
  • Red-shouldered hawks have an average weight of 600 to 650 grams, whereas the weight of Red tailed hawks lies between 900 gms to 1.1 kg
  • Red shouldered hawks have a lifespan of up to 20 years but Red tailed hawks live only for 10 to 15 years.

Red Tailed Hawk Interesting Facts

  • Red tailed hawks are members of the genus of buteo family. 
  • The Scientific name for the Red-tailed hawk is Buteo Jamaicensis. 
  • They have a great ability to hunt and eat larger birds and animals than them.
  • To impress females, Red tailed hawks males catch prey and feed to females.
  • Males help females to build nests. 
  • They are sub-migratory birds. 
  • Their eye color changes as they get older. 
  • Federal law protects Red-tailed hawks from being hunted. 
  • They only breed only after getting 3 years or older. 
  • Unlike other birds, Red tailed hawks have a good sense of smell. 

Read Also: About Sharp Shinned Hawk Juvenile, Call, Size, Nest & More

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Red Tailed Hawk-FAQ’s

How Much Does a Red Tailed Hawk Weigh?

Red tailed hawks are generally much heavier than other hawks and other genus birds. A Red tailed hawk has an average weight of 900 to 1 kg with an exception of some birds having weight up to 1.4 kg. 

How Big Is a Red Tailed Hawk?

Red tailed hawks are great at hunting skills. They have a wide variety on their menu. Their diet includes rabbits, insects (both small and large), mice, snakes, lizards, squirrels, voles, fish, smaller birds, and sometimes small mammals too. 

How Much Is a Red Tailed Hawk?

Generally, federal law, especially in North Carolina, prohibits petting a Red tailed hawk, nor does it allow buying and selling of this particular bird. But in some states, the same is allowed. In those regions, a Red tailed hawk would cost you from $800 to $3000 according to the size, age, and quality of the bird. 

How Fast Is a Red Tailed Hawk?

Red tailed hawks are faster than any genus of buteos and some other birds. They normally fly with an average speed of 120 to 140 km per hour ( 74 to 85 miles per hour) but they have the ability to reach a maximum speed of up to 190 – 200 km per hour (118 to 125 miles per hour).