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Red-shouldered Hawk

Buteo lineatus ORDER: ACCIPITRIFORMES FAMILY: ACCIPITRIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

Whether wheeling over a swamp forest or whistling plaintively from a riverine park, a Red-shouldered Hawk is typically a sign of tall woods and water. It’s one of our most distinctively marked common hawks, with barred reddish-peachy underparts and a strongly banded tail. In flight, translucent crescents near the wingtips help to identify the species at a distance. These forest hawks hunt prey ranging from mice to frogs and snakes.

Funky Nests
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Songs

A Red-shouldered Hawk’s most common call is a plaintive, rising whistle that sounds like kee-ahh. The call tends to be repeated 5–12 times, with each note lasting about half a second. Hawks use it to claim their territory and when alarmed. Female Red-shouldered Hawks sometimes give a soft kee call when on the nest.

Calls

Call a loud "kee-aah," with second note descending in pitch. Often given repeatedly.

Search the Macaulay Library online archive for more sounds and videos

Find This Bird

One of the best ways to find Red-shouldered Hawks is to learn their distinctive whistle. Listen for these birds in and around wet forests, where you may find them hunting from a perch along stream or pond. In spring you may see Red-shouldered Hawks circling high above their nesting territory; they usually show pale crescents near their wingtips, where the sun shines through.