Dec 132012
 

(Buteo lineatus) Red-shouldered Hawks return to the same nesting territory year after year. One Red-shouldered Hawk occupied a territory in southern California for 16 consecutive years.

What does the red shouldered hawk eat?

Red-shouldered Hawks feed on small mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and insects.

 

How long do they live?

Wild red-shouldered hawks live an average of 2 years. The oldest known red-shouldered hawk lived 19 years and 11 months.

 

How many red shouldered hawks can be born at a time?

Like most hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks build a stick nest in a tree. The female lays 2 – 5 eggs that are incubated for 33 days. The young hawks fledge about 45 days later. This bird is usually sexually mature at 2 years.

 

Where are they found?

Mature mixed woodlands near open water, clearings, and rivers are the favored habitats of this hawk. It has also shown a high adaptability to human-altered habitats, including urban areas. This bird resides in the eastern half of the United States and western California.

 

Interesting facts:

  • Red-shouldered Hawks return to the same nesting territory year after year. One Red-shouldered Hawk occupied a territory in southern California for 16 consecutive years.
  • By the time they are five days old, nestling Red-shouldered Hawks can shoot their feces over the edge of their nest. Bird poop on the ground is a sign of an active nest.
  • These hawks eat more reptiles as a percentage of their diet than any North American hawk.

 

Red Shouldered Hawks at the Zoo

Loco  – and he came to us in 2011. He had a broken wing which eventually had to be amputated so he could not be released back into the wild. He is a little high strung and nervous, and that’s why we called him Loco. There are definitely some keepers that he likes better than others, and he makes sure they know it!