Members of the genus Buteo are broad-winged, broad-tailed hawks, Well adapted for soaring. The bill, legs and talons are of average proportions. There is much colour variation both within the species, and, by way of phases, within individual species. In all cases the young are quite different from adults in that they are all well camouflaged with an overall brown appearance with varying amounts of striping below and paler mottling above.
The 25 species are spread worldwide with the exception of Australasia and much of the Indian sub-continent.
(not always easy to see) and robin-red underparts. In flight, note the translucent patch, or “window,” at the base of the primaries.
Streaked; recognized by proportions, tail bands, and, in flight overhead, by the wing “windows.”
Listen to the sound of Red-shouldered Hawk
Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto
|wingspan min.:||90||cm||wingspan max.:||127||cm|
|size min.:||43||cm||size max.:||61||cm|
|incubation min.:||30||days||incubation max.:||35||days|
|fledging min.:||42||days||fledging max.:||48||days|
In East, nests in deciduous and mixed forest, with tall trees and relatively open understory, often along rivers and swamps. May move into more open habitats in winter. In West, typically in riverside forest or in oak woodland, sometimes in eucalyptus groves. Florida birds may be in pine woods, mangroves.
Nest: Site usually in deciduous tree (sometimes in conifer), in fork or at base of branches against main trunk, usually 35-65′ above ground. Nest (built by both sexes) is platform of sticks, lined with bark, moss, and sprigs of green vegetation. Nest may be used more than one season.
Clutch is Usually 3-4, sometimes 2. Pale bluish white, blotched with brown and lavender. Incubation is mostly by female, roughly 33 days. Male brings food to female at nest and may sit on eggs while female eats.
Young: Female remains with young most of the time for first 1-3 weeks after they hatch; male brings food, female feeds it to nestlings. Young leave nest at about 5-7 weeks after hatching, are fed by parents another 8-10 weeks.
Behavior: Usually hunts by watching from a perch, either within forest or in open, swooping down when it locates prey. Sometimes flies very low in open areas, taking creatures by surprise. May use hearing as well as sight to locate prey.
Video Red-shouldered Hawk