Thursday, February 6, 2014

Red Shouldered Hawk

The red shouldered hawk is found in the eastern one-third of the U.S. and a small sliver of the western U.S. along the California coast. They have brownish heads, reddish chests, pale-peachy underparts with narrow white bars, dark and white checkered wings, red "shoulders," black tails with narrow white bands and yellow legs. Western red shouldered hawks are more red than those in Florida which are paler.  They are generally found among trees and near water. They mostly eat small rodents such as mice and voles, but occasionally prey upon larger animals such as rabbits and tree squirrels and reptiles, amphibians and small birds.   
The black tail with white bands is visible from the backside.

The red shoulder is visible at the top of the dark and white checkered wings, reddish chest and pale peach underparts with white bands.  
Yellow feet with talons scratches the brown head.
I saw a red shouldered hawk at Shark Valley in Everglades National Park in southern Florida. It was perched in a tall tree and very near a canal full of water.