Red-tailed Hawks are pretty common, living year-round throughout the U.S. and ranging in the summer up into northern Canada and Alaska and in the winter down into Central America. If you see a hawk, chances are pretty good that it’s a Red-tailed. We have other species of hawks around here also, Swainson’s in the summer and in the winter,Northern Harriers, Rough-legged and Sharp-shinned Hawks, Ferruginous, and Cooper’s Hawks. Other raptors I’ve seen here are American Kestrels, Merlins, Peregrin and Prairie Falcons, Mississippi Kites, Ospreys, and Bald and Golden Eagles. Add Turkey Vultures and a rare Black Vulture to that and there’s no shortage of large soaring birds around here.
The Red-tailed Hawks have a pretty wide color variation-Sibley’s names 5 different sub-species, some of which have a light, intermediate and a dark moph. That’s a lot of variation. Some of them don’t even have red tails!
That build up is so that I can show these pictures of 3 young Red-tailed Hawks Sheila and I have been watching the last few weeks. I posted a picture of them a few weeks after hatching a while back. These were taken Wednesday, June 12th. One of them flew as I changed position to try to get a better angle. The other two sat on or near the nest as I took pictures. Missed the shot of the one that flew off, of course.