Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk

Red Shouldered Hawk – click on image for larger picture

The Red Shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)  that I photographed at the Bird Rookery Swamp in Naples was one of the most predominant birds in this preserve that I visited a few weeks ago. At one point during my hike a hawk flew right over my head and acted as though they own the forest. They have a loud screeching call which you can hear on an audio clip at the AllAboutBirds website.  The Red Shouldered Hawk is often found in forests with tall trees and swampland. The trees and terrain make an excellent habitat for this birds hunting methods which is to view the understory below them and to swoop down and catch their prey which includes frogs, mice, small fish and snakes and grab them with their sharp feet which are called talons. They can tear apart their catch with their sharp beaks.

Red Shouldered Hawks have a distinctive color with a  reddish-brown chest and underbelly. The feathers on their back are dark and light colored in a striped or banded pattern. They look like other Hawks in the U.S. The Audubon Society has some great pictures of the Red Shouldered Hawk along with pictures of other Hawks that live in the U.S. The Red Shouldered Hawk lives primarily in the Southeastern U.S. and California which has large open forests and wetlands.

The female Red Shouldered Hawk often lays about 3-4 eggs per year which take about 33 days to hatch. Both the male and female look after the eggs before they hatch by taking turns sitting on them in the nest, while the other one eats. The eggs hatch after about 33 days and the young stay in the nest for another 5-7 weeks. The parents continue to feed the young birds for about 8-10 weeks during their infancy.






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