Red-tailed Hawk

A brown and white bird sits on a branch.The head and wings are brown while the underbelly is white.

NPS Photo

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Length 19” Wingspan 49”
Short hooked bill, stocky broad body, rounded wings, red on tail top, sharp talons, black edge on underside of wing, seen hunting small mammals from perch

This raptor does not sing, but its hoarse, screaming kee-eeeee-arr cry is one of the most iconic when it comes to films and the American West. Almost every time any bird-of-prey is depicted, filmmakers use the Red-tailed Hawk’s cry.


Last updated: August 24, 2020

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