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Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Birds Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

General Description: Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) are large hawks that are easy to recognize if you see the red tail. Otherwise, the dark head, bright white breast, dark belly band, and white belly helps to identify them. In flight, they usually have black elbows. Red-tails show several color patterns, and some are difficult to identify. Young birds do not have a red tail.

Red-tailed Hawks are part of a group of hawks called Buteos, which includes all members of the genus Buteo and related genera. These hawks are recognized by their broad, rounded wings and soaring behavior.

Taxonomy: Accipitriformes, Accipitridae.

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Favored Habitat: Open deserts with places to perch (e.g., powerpoles) and hunt.

Where to Find: Never common, but found in the desert and around cliffs. Watch for Red-tails sitting on powerpoles in the open desert.

Comments:

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) If you were a tasty rabbit or a big fat snake, this might be the last face you ever see!
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Stately Red-tailed Hawk standing in a Joshua Tree
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk in a Joshua Tree
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Mounted Red-tailed Hawk on display at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon. Note the alternating dark and light pattern on the underside: dark hood, light breast, dark belly band, and light belly.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Mounted Red-tailed Hawk on display at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon. When you can see it, the red tail uniquely identifies this species.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Even in dark birds, note the dark belly band
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
In flight, note the black elbows, but don't always expect a red tail
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Note the alternating dark and light pattern on the underside: dark hood, white breast, dark belly band, and white belly.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Dark Red-tailed Hawk
with the same the alternating dark and light pattern
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Common Ravens harassing a Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk with breakfast!
Red-tailed Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Soaring flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Flapping flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Note the white front
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Note mottled pattern on the back
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Note mottled pattern on the back
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk taking flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk taking flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
1. On the ground
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
2. Taking flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
3. Notice the curl in the wing tips
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
4. Broad wing with banding
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
5. Heading for the skies
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk on a red, sandstone cliff in Utah
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk on a red, sandstone cliff in Utah
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tail hawk in a Midwestern maple tree
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tail hawk in a Midwestern maple tree
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Even in pale hawks, notice the belly band and a dark head
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk in flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Those are some serious hawk toes!
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Somebody is not happy to see me.
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk in flight
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk stick nest on ledge
Red-tailed Hawk Red-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Pair of Red-tailed Hawks
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk juvenile
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk in a rehab facility, Homosassa Springs, Florida
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk in a rehab facility, Homosassa Springs, Florida
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk on a pole (note tail dark red above)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
Red-tailed Hawk taking flight from pole (note tail dull-red below)
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
American Kestrel male drives Red-tailed Hawk from nest
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
American Kestrel male drives Red-tailed Hawk from nest
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
American Kestrel male drives Red-tailed Hawk from nest
Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
American Kestrel male drives Red-tailed Hawk from nest

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 130915

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