Found all over the island in abundance, you have a good chance of seeing a red-tailed hawk soaring on broad wings over the American Camp prairie.
Adults are easy to identify with their reddish tail and dark head, but they come in a variation of plumages depending on age and color morphs. Look for the broad wings and dark band edging their underwings.
You may recognize their calls from a number of TV shows and movies, a descending, shrill, raspy scream that falls in pitch and intensity, and a shorter, piercing series of screams. Note, though, that Steller’s jays and starlings may fool you with their spot-on imitations.
Did You Know?
First Lieutenant James W. Forsyth was Capt. George E. Pickett's second in command on San Juan Island. Forsyth would become a brigadier general in the Civil War and go on to command the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Wounded Knee Creek in 1890.