Red Shouldered Hawk – (Buteo lineatus) Red Shouldered Hawks are part of the “Raptor” group of birds that feed on other animals for food. The Red Shouldered Hawk has reddish shoulders, tail with whitish bands and in this case a whitish belly. They can be seen in hardwood swamps, mixed pine and hardwood forests, prairies, marshes and urban environments. This bird flew past me and landed in a palm tree and perched itself on a branch gazing out. I knew immediately what it’s intent was by it’s menacing stare. Red Shouldered Hawks feed on other small animals of which there are many on Sanibel Island. It feeds on reptiles, amphibians, snakes, and other small birds. It lives in habitats inclluding swamps and forested wetlands. The Bird Rookery Swamp Trail which is part of the Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed has the most Red Shouldered Hawks that I have seen in one place. They have a distinctive screech and call which you can identify after you have seen and heard them for awhile. The All About Birds website has an audio clip if you want to hear it.
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