Red Tailed Hawk

The high-pitched “kheer” sound of the Red-tailed Buzzard is often used in TV and films to denote bald eagles, as it’s thought to be the most ‘eagle like’ sound!

One of the largest North American hawk species, these impressive red-tailed birds are often seen soaring above rural areas from coast to coast.Their high-pitched “kheer” call is often used in TV and films to denote bald eagles, as it’s thought to be the most ‘eagle like’ sound!

 Red-tailed Buzzards will often keep the same territory for life, which can be as large as 9.6 square miles. The birds defend their patch with impressive aerial displays of steep dives and climbs. A mated pair will often glide over their territory together. Despite this bird’s impressive strength and soaring ability, red-tails prefer to perch in wait for their prey rather than hovering in the air. They then glide and snatch their meal from the ground. 

Where are they found?
Red-tailed hawks were first discovered in Jamaica and are found across North and Central America in a wide range of habitats, including scrub, desert, plains, grasslands, agricultural fields, pastures, parks, woodlands, and tropical rain forests and even urban areas. They prefer an open landscape with various elevated places to perch and survey their territory.

Scientific name
Buteo jamaicensis
Family
Accipitridae
Order
Falconiformes
Lifespan
12 years in the wild. Up to 28 years in captivity
Fast facts
The inside of a Red-tailed Buzzard’s egg shell is green
Also called the Red-tailed hawk, Chicken hawk and Harland’s hawk
Hawks have special vision and can see colours that humans can’t
Conservation status
Least concern