RED-SHOULDERED HAWK

RED-SHOULDERED HAWK (Buteo lineatus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Red-shouldered Hawk adult has a brown head streaked with white, Upper parts are medium brown with white barring on wings and tail. Shoulder is reddish brown. Throat and breast are cinnamon streaked. Under parts including under wing shoulder area are finely barred cinnamon and white. Legs and feet are yellow and partly covered with feathers. Eyes are reddish brown. Sexes are similar, with females larger. Bird length is about 45 cm (18 inches). There are five subspecies.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Buteo-lineatus – call is well imitated by Blue Jay.
NAME: ‘Hawk’ would stem from ‘to have’, meaning to seize or grasp. Latin genus name ‘Buteo’ means ‘hawk’. Latin species name ‘lineatus’ means ‘striped’, in reference to the upper wing plumage.
HABITAT: Humid woodlands.
DIET: Varies by region, may include small mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and insects.
NESTING: Nest is built in tree high above ground. Three or four light blue eggs are laid, incubated by female, who also feeds the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: Breeds in southern Ontario, Quebec and New-Brunswick; for the USA, around the Great Lakes and east of that region. Year-round resident in remaining eastern half of the USA. Winters in southwest Texas and northeast Mexico.
Distribution Map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-shouldered_hawk – /media/File:Buteo_lineatus_distr..png
ON PEI: Does not breed on Prince Edward Island, sightings listed as ‘accidental’ so far, for all seasons. See note below on bird vagrancy.
CONSERVATION: Population has increased, currently not at risk.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Broad-winged Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/red-shouldered-hawk
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://hawkwatch.org/learn/factsheets/item/374-redshouldered-hawk
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/red-shouldered-hawk (Missouri Department of Conservation)
http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/40/overview/Red-shouldered_Hawk.aspx
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/red-shouldered-hawk
https://www.tn.gov/twra/wildlife/birds/forest-birds/red-shouldered-hawk.html (Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency)
http://fieldguide.mt.gov/speciesDetail.aspx?elcode=ABNKC19030 (Montana Field Guide)
https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Buteo_lineatus/ (University of Michigan)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-shouldered_hawk
https://txtbba.tamu.edu/species-accounts/red-shouldered-hawk/ (Texas Breeding Bird Atlas)

Red-shouldered Hawk hunting - Blue Cypress Lake, FL - Apr. 2016 - photo by Andy Morffew
Red-shouldered Hawk hunting – Blue Cypress Lake, FL – Apr. 2016 – photo by Andy Morffew
Red-shouldered Hawk in flight - Green Cay Nature Center, FL - Dec. 2014 - photo by Gouldingken
Red-shouldered Hawk in flight – Green Cay Nature Center, FL – Dec. 2014 – photo by Gouldingken
Red-shouldered Hawk, head close up - Sanford, FL - June 2007 - photy by gerry
Red-shouldered Hawk, head close up – Sanford, FL – June 2007 – photo by gerry

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